Priyamvada Natarajan
Priya can shape and manipulate dark matter, shifting the rotation of galaxies.
Get to know
Priya was born on the planet Zog. By age nine she was one of the galaxies foremost experts in Black Holes, by age 16 she was running her own lab on the Starship Pisces. One day during a routine experiment her lab exploded. Priya survived the blast but soon realised her life would never be the same. She could now wield dark matter and bend it to her control...
The bridge in the background is the PSG tech overbridge which can be found in the city of Coimbatore, where Priya was born.
The Logo on her superhero outfit is that of the PBS science show Nova ScienceNow. Pryia is on the scientific advisory board.
In this fact-file find out why we turned Priyamvada into a Superhero
The Pisces constellation can be seen from nearly all points on Earth!
Priya maps and studies the universe, including black holes. She has helped develop the theories of how they were formed.
Henrietta Leavitt was an astronomer who discovered how to measure Stellar Distances (the distance measurement in astronomy).
Pryia has also done work researching redshit (an increase in wavelength). The opposite of a redshift is a blueshift (wavelengths shorten and energy increases).
Born: unknown
Occupation: Physicist & Astronomer
Priyamvada Natarajan
Priya is now a professor of Astronomy and Physics at Yale. Priya is not only a gifted teacher and researcher, but is also a published poet.
Priya was born in India, she loved science and math as a child but was also very interested in poetry and art. She went to MIT where she studied physics.
Priyamvada Natarajan
..What I love best about my job is the continuing thrill and joy of figuring things out ..
Video credit: NOVA PBS Official
Priya has loved atlases and maps since she was a little girl. Find out why is is so fascinated by Black Holes in this PBS video.
A physicist studies of matter, how it moves, and its behaviour through space and time.

There are two main areas of Physics: Experimental Physics (the observation and study of physical phenomena and conducting experiments) and Theoretical Physics (uses simulations to understand, explain, and predict natural phenomena).
Video credit: SimplyInfo
There are three types of Black Hole. (1) Primordial, the smallest (2) Stellar, the most common (3) Supermassive, the largest.
Our Milky Way Probably Has a Black Hole. Don't worry it's not close enough to be dangerous!
Learn about the different types of black holes, how they form, and how scientists study them. Looking for something for older children check this video out.
What is a Black Hole?
If you took two black holes and smashed them into each other, what would happen? Find out in this video by WhatIf.
What If Two Black Holes Collided?
Video credit: Peekaboo Kidz
Video credit: What If
For a slightly older audience, this video explains what Redshift is.
What is Redshift?
Video credit: Astronomic
You can't see a black hole. No light can escape from black holes so it's impossible for us to sense the hole even with instruments. The key is to look at the hole's effects on the nearby environments.
Dying stars create stellar black holes.
Fun facts on black holes!
STEP 1: Have two people hold the stretchy fabric by the corners, pull it taut. Make sure that it does not have any wrinkles or bumps in it
STEP 2: Put a marble on the fabric and watch it. What do you notice?
STEP 3: Roll a marble across the fabric and watch how it moves. What shape does its path take?
STEP 4: Place your heavy, round object (try an apple or orange) in the middle of the fabric. What happens to the fabric?
STEP 5: With the heavy round object on the fabric, place the second marble near the edge of the fabric and let it go. What happens now?
STEP 6: Now try to roll the marble from one side of the fabric to the other. Do you notice anything different about the shape of the marble's path?
STEP 7: Try rolling two marbles at the same time. Do the marbles seem to affect each other's motion?
What you will need
  • Stretchy fabric (not cotton)
  • Round, heavy object
  • Two marbles
  • a marker
  • a ruler
  • Three people are needed for this experiment
Find another great 60 min class room experiment here
Questions to ask
  1. Did you noticed that when you hold the fabric flat and put a marble on it, it doesn't move. If you roll the marble across the flat fabric, it moves in a straight line. but when you place a heavy round object in the middle of your fabric, it causes the fabric to curve downward. Now, the marble won't hold still and when you roll it it follows a curved path
Want to discover more? Dive into the world of our science superheroes
Priya features in our card game: Top Quarkz
Discover our free educational resources and activities
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