Corinne Manogue


Professor, Department of Physics
Office: Weniger 493
Phone: +1(541) 737-1695

Research Group Website:

Recent Courses: PH320 Paradigm: Symmetries, PH425 Paradigm: Spins, PH461 Capstone: Mathematical Methods, PH199 Special Topics: First Year Orientation


A.B. in Mathematics and Physics (1977) Mount Holyoke College
Ph.D. in Physics (1984) University of Texas

Previous Employment

Member (1984-1986) School of Natural Sciences, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton
SERC Postdoctoral Research Fellow (1986-1987) Dept. of Mathematical Sciences, University of Durham, UK
Indo-American Fellow (1987)  Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Madras, India
Indo-American Fellow (1987)  Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Bombay, India


Mount Holyoke College:  Mary Lyon Alumnae Award (1992)
Mortar Board:  Top Prof (2000)
College of Science, Oregon State University:  Frederick H. Horne Award for Sustained Excellence in Teaching (2000)
Oregon State University:  Elizabeth P. Ritchie Distinguished Professor Award (2002)
American Physical Society, Fellow (2005)
Oregon State University:  The Richard M. Bressler Senior Faculty Teaching Award (2008)
American Association of Physics Teachers:  Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Physics Teaching (2008)
American Association of Physics Teachers: Fellow (2014)
Oregon Academy of Science: Outstanding Educator in Science and Mathematics, Higher Education Award (2016)

Research Interests

Dimensional Reduction and Octonions

My long-term goal in this research is to describe the fundamental symmetries of physics by exploiting the symmetries inherent in exceptional mathematical structures involving the octonions, a non-commutative, non-associative extension of the complex numbers.

My results have included:

  • a demonstration that the non-linear Virasoro constraints of bosonic string theory and the superstring equations in 10-dimensions are both simple restatements of the octonionic multiplication rule;
  • an explicit alternative to exponentiation for the description of finite Lorentz transformations which evades the twin hazards of non-commutativity and non-associativity;
  • a proposal to use the octonionic formalism to reduce ten spacetime dimensions to four, without the usual compactification required by superstring theory;
  • the application of this symmetry breaking to the Dirac equation resulting in a particle spectrum with the correct number of generations and spin/helicity properties to describe precisely three generations of leptons.

The Paradigms in Physics Project

In 1997, I became PI (with co-PI's Janet Tate and Philip Siemens) on a major NSF grant to create and implement a ground-breaking new upper-division curriculum designed to improve students' analytical and problem-solving skills. Twenty years later, our development team has involved 11 faculty members from two departments, 7 graduate students, and an external evaluation team. The traditional order of material has been completely revised: the junior year features intensive, three-week modules each focusing on a single, paradigmatic example in physics; the senior year features courses which systematically present the traditional subdisciplines of physics, as well as courses describing the phenomena and methodology of modern research areas. Our pedagogical approaches include interactive small-group learning, technology-based visualization activities, and project-based classes. The Paradigms project has attracted attention at national meetings of the AAPT and APS in sessions on ``Revitalizing Undergraduate Physics'' and international attention, especially in Canada, Sweden, and Colombia. Articles on the Paradigms project has been published by the American Journal of Physics and Physics Today.  A second grant from the NSF was awarded in the spring of 2003 to use workshops to begin the process of national dissemination of this novel curriculum.

Representative Publications

  • David B. Fairlie & Corinne A. Manogue, A Parameterization of the Covariant Superstring Physical Review D 36 (1987) 475-479.
  • Corinne A. Manogue & Anthony Sudbery, General Solutions of Covariant Superstring Equations of Motion, Physical Review D 40 (1989) 4073-4077.
  • Corinne A. Manogue & Jörg Schray, Finite Lorentz Transformations, Automorphisms, and Division Algebras, Journal of Mathematical Physics 34 (1993) 3746-3767.
  • Paul Davies, Tevian Dray & Corinne A. Manogue, Detecting the Rotating Quantum Vacuum, Physical Review D 53 (1996) 4382-4387.
  • Corinne A. Manogue & Tevian Dray, Dimensional Reduction, Modern Physics Letters A 14 (1999) 93-97 (invited paper).
  • Tevian Dray and Corinne A. Manogue, The Geometry of the Octonions, World Scientific (2015).
  • Corinne A. Manogue, Philip J. Siemens, Janet Tate, and Kerry Browne (Department of Physics) & Margaret L. Niess and Adam J. Wolfer (Department of Science and Mathematics Education), Paradigms in Physics: A New Upper-Division Curriculum, American Journal of Physics, 69 (2001) 978-990.
  • Corinne A. Manogue and Kenneth S. Krane, The Oregon State University Paradigms Project:  Re-envisioning the Upper Level, Physics Today, 56 (2003) 53-58.
  • Corinne A. Manogue, Tevian Dray, & Barbara Edwards, Why is Ampere's Law So Hard? American Journal of Physics, 74 (2006) 344-350.