We present a description of isochronous centres of planar vector fields X by means of their groups of symmetries. More precisely, given a normalizer U of X (i.e., [X,U] = μ X, where μ is a scalar function), we provide a necessary and sufficient isochronicity condition based on μ. This criterion extends the result of Sabatini and Villarini that establishes the equivalence between isochronicity and the existence of commutators ([X, U] = 0). We put also special emphasis on the mechanical aspects of isochronicity; this point of view forces a deeper insight into the potential and quadratic-like Hamiltonian systems. For these families we provide new ways to find isochronous centres, alternative to those already known from the literature.
- Groups of symmetries
- Isochronous centres
- Quadratic-like Hamiltonian systems