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Department of Physics

The Cavendish Laboratory


Claudio Castelnovo completed his undergraduate and master studies at the Universita' degli Studi di Milano in 2000. He received a PhD from Boston University in 2006 and moved to Oxford where he held an EPSRC postdoctoral fellowship. He was hired as a Lecturer at Royal Holloway University of London in 2010 and moved to the Cavendish Laboratory at the University of Cambridge in 2012, where he was promoted to University Reader in Theoretical Physics in 2015 and to Professor of Theoretical Physics in 2020. In 2002, he won the Gertrude and Maurice Goldhaber Prize; in 2012,  the EPS CMD Europhysics Prize for the prediction and experimental observation of magnetic monopoles in spin ice; in 2013, the IUPAP C10 Young Scientist Prize.


I am part of the Theory of Condensed Matter group at the Cavendish Laboratory. My interests lie in the area of emergent and out of equilibrium phenomena in strongly correlated many body systems. Current research topics include the effects of hard constraints in classical and quantum systems; freezing and glassiness; response and equilibration properties of systems with fractionalised excitations; frustrated magnetism; topological order, quantum information and quantum computing.


Key publications: 

C. Castelnovo, R. Moessner, and S. L. Sondhi, “Magnetic monopoles in spin ice”, Nature 451, 42 (2008)

D. J. P. Morris, D. A. Tennant, S. A. Grigera, B. Klemke, C. Castelnovo, R. Moessner, C. Czternasty, M. Meissner, K. C. Rule, J.-U. Hoffmann, K. Kiefer, S. Gerischer, D. Slobinsky, and R. S. Perry, “Dirac Strings and Magnetic Monopoles in the Spin Ice Dy2Ti2O7”, Science 326, 411 (2009)

C. Castelnovo, S. Trebst, M. Troyer, “Topological Order and Quantum Criticality”, chapter of the book ”Understanding Quantum Phase Transitions”, edited by L. D. Carr (CRC Press / Taylor & Francis, 2010)

C. Castelnovo, R. Moessner, S. L. Sondhi, Spin Ice, “Fractionalization, and Topological Order”, Annual Review of Condensed Matter Physics 3, 35 (2012)

S. Mostame, C. Castelnovo, R. Moessner, and S. L. Sondhi, “Tunable nonequilibrium dynamics of field quenches in spin ice”, PNAS 111, 640 (2014)

G. Sala, M. J. Gutmann, D. Prabhakaran, D. Pomaranski, C. Mitchelitis, J. B. Kycia, D. G. Porter, C. Castelnovo and J. P. Goff,  “Vacancy defects and monopole dynamics in oxygen-decient pyrochlores”, Nature Materials 13, 488 (2014).

J. Hamp, A. Chandran, R. Moessner, and C. Castelnovo, “Emergent Coulombic criticality and Kibble-Zurek scaling in a topological magnet”, Physical Review B 92, 075142 (2015).

J. A. M. Paddison, H. S. Ong, J. O. Hamp, P. Mukherjee, X. Bai, M. G. Tucker, N. P. Butch, C. Castelnovo, M. Mourigal, S. E. Dutton, “Emergent Order in the Kagome Ising Magnet Dy3Mg2Sb3O14”, Nature Comm. 7, 13842 (2016).

G. Goldstein, C. Chamon, and C.Castelnovo, “Quantum oscillations and criticality in a fermionic and bosonic dimer model for the cuprates”, Physical Review B, 98, 184512 (2018).

D. Bowman, E. Cemal, T. Lehner, A. Wildes, L. Mangin-Thro, G. Nilsen, M. Gutmann, D. Voneshen, D. Prabhakaran, A. Boothroyd, D. Porter, C. Castelnovo, K. Refson, and J. Goff, “Role of defects in determining the magnetic ground state of ytterbium titanate”
Nature Communications 10, 637 (2019).


University Professor of Theoretical Physics
Fellow, Trinity College
Professor Claudio  Castelnovo

Contact Details

Email address: 
Theory of Condensed Matter Group
Room 528, Mott Building
Cavendish Laboratory
JJ Thomson Avenue
+44 (0)1223 337433


Person keywords: 
Theoretical and Computational Physics
Emergent Quantum Phenomena