Penrose's proposal of smooth conformal compactification is not only of geometric elegance, it also makes concrete predictions on physically measurable objects such as the "late-time tails" of gravitational waves. At the same time, the physical motivation for a smooth null infinity remains itself unclear. In this talk, building on arguments due to Christodoulou, Damour and others, I will show that, in generic gravitational collapse, the "peeling property" of gravitational radiation is violated (so one cannot attach a smooth null infinity). Moreover, I will explain how this violation of peeling is in principle measurable in the form of leading-order deviations from the usual late-time tails of gravitational radiation.

This talk is based on https://arxiv.org/abs/2105.08079, https://arxiv.org/abs/2105.08084 and … .

It will be a hybrid seminar on both zoom and in-person in L5.