Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Clairaut, or Clairault, Alexis Claude, the son of a mathematical teacher, was born in Paris in 1713, and developed so precocious a capacity for figures that at the age of 18 he was elected to the Academy of Science. In 1736 he was sent with Maupertuis to Lapland, to measure an arc of the meridian. He proposed a solution of the problem of the three bodies, which brought him into unhappy rivalry with D'Alembert, and divided mathematicians into factions. He calculated the perihelion of Halley's comet, and won the prize of the St. Petersburg Academy for his treatise on the Lunar Theory. His other works were On the Shape of the Earth, The Elements of Algebra, and The Elements of Geometry.