Why Null Infinity Is Not Smooth, and How to Measure Its Non-smoothness

19 October 2021
Leonhard Kehrberger

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. 

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