Clairaut's formula

Clairaut's formula

[′kler·ȯz ‚fȯr·myə·lə]
(geodesy)
An approximate formula for gravity at the earth's surface, assuming that the earth is an ellipsoid; states that the gravity is equal to ge [1+(⁵⁄₂ m'-f) sin2θ], where θ is the latitude, ge is the gravity at the equator, m′ is the ratio of centrifugal acceleration to gravity at the equatorial surface, and f is the earth's flattening, equal to (a-b)/ a, where a is the semimajor axis and b is the semiminor axis.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.