Samuel Earnshaw (1 February 1805, Sheffield, Yorkshire – 6 December 1888, Sheffield, Yorkshire) was an English clergyman and mathematician and physicist, noted for his contributions to theoretical physics, especially "Earnshaw's theorem".
|Died||6 December 1888 (aged 83)|
Sheffield, Yorkshire, England
|Known for||Earnshaw's theorem|
From 1831 to 1847 Earnshaw worked in Cambridge as tripos coach, and in 1846 was appointed to the parish church St. Michael, Cambridge. For a time he acted as curate to the Revd Charles Simeon. In 1847 his health broke down and he returned to Sheffield working as a chaplain and teacher.
Earnshaw published several mathematical and physical articles and books. His most famous contribution, "Earnshaw's theorem", shows the impossibility of stable levitating permanent magnets: other topics included optics, waves, dynamics and acoustics in physics, calculus, trigonometry and partial differential equations in mathematics. As a clergyman, he published several sermons and treatises.