This collection contains selected papers and writings by and about the work of Julian M. Avery (1896-1986). Avery was an MIT-trained electrochemical engineer who was also deeply engaged in the study of the cosmos, an area in which he was self-educated. Avery’s independent research led him away from then-accepted models such as the “Big Bang” theory and earned him an extended meeting in 1947 with Albert Einstein, who encouraged his continued research. After Avery’s death, his daughter requested a review of her father’s work from Toronto-based consulting engineer Arthur D. Margison, who offered “Notes and Calculations: Review of Papers by the late Prof. Emeritus Julian M. Avery”, included in this collection along with the related original papers by Julian Avery.
Mr. Avery's daughter, Lynn Avery Gargill, has provided the following biographical essay about her father:
My father's fascination with cosmology probably began at MIT. His training there as an electro-chemical engineer must have made him wonder about the powerful forces at work in the universe. He was always a straight A student, had many interests and loved a challenge – the bigger, the better. He loved nature but especially mountains and the stars – high, unattainable things.
When we were growing up he spent a lot of time after work and on weekends in his study working on "the atom" as we called it. I remember him standing for long periods of time gazing at the night sky, his hands in his pockets or slowly puffing on a cigar. He would tell us to come and see the stars; he would name them and point out the constellations. Once he showed us how iron fillings on top of a piece of paper would follow a magnet moving underneath. He wanted us to discover how and why that happened.
In 1947 the three hour meeting with Dr. Einstein inspired him and encouraged him to continue this work, as Einstein had said he must. He once spoke about the great pleasure it gave him to climb in his mind to the heights he reached working on the papers. When his health declined in the 1960s he had to abandon the project. He always claimed the papers were not in publishable form. When I visited my parents in Florida near the end of his life, I heard him at night schuffling along with his cane in the dark to the big window where he would stand and look at the stars.
Lynn Avery Gargill, September 13, 2016