Paul L. Richards received his AB in Physics from Harvard in 1956 and his PhD in Solid State Physics from Berkeley in 1960. He was a Postdoctoral researcher at Cambridge in 1959-60, a Member of the Technical staff at the Bell Telephone Laboratories from 1960 to 1966 and professor of physics at Berkeley from 1966 to the present. Richards has been a visiting scientist at Cambridge University, the Max Planck Institutes for Solid State Physics at Stuttgart and Radio Astronomy at Bonn, the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris, the Paris Observatory, and the University of Rome. With students and collaborators, Richards has published more than 400 papers on infrared and millimeter wave physics, including the development of measurement techniques, especially new detectors, and the application of these techniques to many scientific problems. Richards is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Science. He has received fellowships from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the J.S. Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and three times form the Adolph C. and Mary Sprague Miller Institute for Basic Research in Science. He was named California Scientist of the Year in 1981, and Berkeley Faculty Research Lecturer in 1991. He received the Button Prize of the Institute of Physics (UK) for Outstanding Contributions to the Science of Electromagnetic Spectrum in 1997 and the Frank Isakson Prize of the American Physical Society for Optical Effects in Solids in 2000.