Conformal symmetries : solutions in two classes of cosmological models.
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In this thesis we study the conformal symmetries in two locally rotationally symmetric spacetimes and the homothetic symmetries of a Bianchi I spacetime. The conformal Killing equation in a class AIa spacetime (MacCallum 1980), with a G4 of motions, is integrated to obtain the general solution subject to integrability conditions. These conditions are comprehensively analysed to determine the restrictions on the metric functions. The Killing vectors are contained in the general conformal solution. The homothetic vector is obtained and the explicit functional dependence of the metric functions determined. The class AIa spacetime does not admit a nontrivial special conformal factor. We also integrate the conformal Killing equation in the anisotropic locally rotationally symmetric spacetime of class A3 (MacCallum 1980), with a G4 of motions, to obtain the general conformal Killing vector and the conformal factor subject to integrability conditions. The Killing vectors are obtained as a special case from the general conformal solution. The homothetic vector is found for a nonzero constant conformal factor. The explicit functional form of the metric functions is determined for the existence of this homothetic vector. The spatially homogeneous and anisotropic A3 spacetime also does not admit a nontrivial special conformal vector. In the Bianchi I spacetime, with a G3 of motions, the conformal Killing equation is integrated for a constant conformal factor to generate the homothetic symmetries. The integrability conditions are solved to determine the functional dependence of the three time-dependent metric functions.