Clairaut, Alexis Claude (älĕksĕsˈ klōd klĕrōˈ) [key], 1713–65, French mathematician. He assisted P. L. M. de Maupertuis in measuring (1736) a degree of an arc of a meridian in Lapland. He is noted for his work on differential equations and on curves and for formulating Clairaut's theorem dealing with geodesic lines on the surface of an ellipsoid.
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