Dr. Hansma is a Research Professor, California NanoSystems Institute, CNSI, and Professor Emeritus, Department of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was a professor for 39 years. Dr. Hansma has been building scientific instruments since high school where he built an air liquefier, which did not work, and a van de Graff generator, which did. He earned his PhD in Physics at UC Berkeley, where he built instruments for low temperature physics.
At UC Santa Barbara he invented on the first Scanning Tunneling Microscope and the first Atomic Force Microscope that could image samples in water. Dr. Hansma received the 2000 Biological Physics Prize of the American Physical Society for his work on imaging biological samples. He has over 350 scientific publications and over 25 patents. In 2001 Dr. Hansma began focusing his basic research on nanoscale mechanisms of fracture resistance in biomaterials. Since 2005 Paul has focused on further developing his Reference Point Indentation invention for measuring tissue material properties clinically.