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Essential nonlinearity implied by symmetry group. Problems of affine invariance in mechanics and physics

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  • The main leitmotivs of this paper are the essential nonlinearities, symmetries and the mutual relationships between them. By essential nonlinearities we mean ones which are not interpretable as some extra perturbations imposed on a linear background deciding about the most important qualitative features of discussed phenomena. We also investigate some discrete and continuous systems, roughly speaking with large symmetry groups. And some remarks about the link between two concepts are reviewed. Namely, we advocate the thesis that the most important non-perturbative nonlinearities are those implied by the assumed "large" symmetry groups. It is clear that such a relationship does exist, although there is no complete theory. We compare the mechanism of inducing nonlinearity by symmetry groups of discrete and continuous systems. Many striking and instructive analogies are found, e.g., analogy between analytical mechanics of systems of affine bodies and general relativity, tetrad models of gravitation, and Born-Infeld nonlinearity. Some interesting, a bit surprising problems concerning Noether theorem are discussed, in particular in the context of large symmetry groups.
    Mathematics Subject Classification: Primary: 37J15, 53D05, 74A60 83D05, 83E05; Secondary: 53A15, 53D22.


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