John H. Hoffmann, Ph.D.

John Hoffman


  • Phoenix Mars Lander
  • Mars
  • Thermal and Evolved Gas Analyzer
  • ionospheric composition
  • planetary atmospheres


Katherine Morales

Expert at a Glance

John Hoffman, Ph.D. School of Natural Sciences & Mathematics

Professor of Physics

Dr. Hoffman’s instruments have helped unpack the mysteries of our solar system from three Apollo missions to the moon, to the Pioneer Mission to Venus in 1978, to the landmark Phoenix Mission to Mars in 2008. 

His spectrometer helped explore Halley’s Comet in 1986. 

The recent Phoenix Mars Mission depends heavily on a small furnaces and a mass spectrometer system he designed to determine the presence of water and to study the mineralogical composition of soil on the Red Planet. 

He received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Minnesota.

Updated: December 18, 2008