On Stephani universes.
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In this dissertation we study conformal symmetries in the Stephani universe which is a generalisation of the Robertson-Walker models. The kinematics and dynamics of the Stephani universe are discussed. The conformal Killing vector equation for the Stephani metric is integrated to obtain the general solution subject to integrability conditions that restrict the metric functions. Explicit forms are obtained for the conformal Killing vector as well as the conformal factor . There are three categories of solution. The solution may be categorized in terms of the metric functions k and R. As the case kR - kR = 0 is the most complicated, we provide all the details of the integration procedure. We write the solution in compact vector notation. As the case k = 0 is simple, we only state the solution without any details. In this case we exhibit a conformal Killing vector normal to hypersurfaces t = constant which is an analogue of a vector in the k = 0 Robertson-Walker spacetimes. The above two cases contain the conformal Killing vectors of Robertson-Walker spacetimes. For the last case in - kR = 0, k =I 0 we provide an outline of the integration process. This case gives conformal Killing vectors which do not reduce to those of RobertsonWalker spacetimes. A number of the calculations performed in finding the solution of the conformal Killing vector equation are extremely difficult to analyse by hand. We therefore utilise the symbolic manipulation capabilities of Mathematica (Ver 2.0) (Wolfram 1991) to assist with calculations.