Asymptotic charges cannot be measured in finite time
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevD.97.046014
To study quantum gravity in asymptotically flat spacetimes, one would like to understand the algebra of observables at null infinity. Here we show that the Bondi mass cannot be observed in finite retarded time, and so is not contained in the algebra on any finite portion of I+. This follows immediately from recently discovered asymptotic entropy bounds. We verify this explicitly, and we find that attempts to measure a conserved charge at arbitrarily large radius in fixed retarded time are thwarted by quantum fluctuations. We comment on the implications of our results to flat space holography and the BMS charges at I+.