|Left: reactants in a beaker (Ѻ) being heated, an action which works to get the reactants up to the activation energy level in order to reaction to proceed to products. Right: the hot body (fire), cold body (cool water), and working body (substance in cylinder) of the 1690 Papin engine, through which heat is added then removed in the operation of the heat cycle.|
Matter theory of heat
See main: Matter theory of heatThe early history of theories of heat is a long and convoluted subject, beginning with Aristotle viewing heat as fire element (350BC); Geber explaining heat in terms of sulphur or the ‘stone with burns’ (c.790); Paracelsus explaining heat in terms of a mixture of Aristotle’s four element theory and Geber’s three principle theory (1524); Johann Becher, modifying Paracelsus’ theory to arrive at the concept of heat as terra pinguis (1669); Georg Stahl, a student of Becher, modifying the terra pinguis theory to arrive at the phlogiston theory of heat (1703); these all tended to revolve around what was called the "matter theory of heat".
Bacon | Heat is motion
See main: Motion theory of heat (kinetic theory of heat)In 1620, English thinker Francis Bacon, in his New Instruments, stated the following logic: 
“It must not be thought that heat generates motion or motion heat—though in some respects this is true—but that very essence of heat or the substantial self of heat is motion and nothing else.”
|English thinker Francis Bacon's famous 1620 statement that the very essence of heat is motion and nothing else.  This is one of the first precursor statements to the mechanical equivalent of heat.|
“It now remains for me to tell your excellency, as I promised, some thoughts of mine about the proposition ‘motion is the cause of heat’, and to show in what sense this may be true. But first I must consider what it is that we call heat, as I suspect that people in general have a concept of this which is very remote from the truth. For they believe that heat is a real phenomenon, or property, or quality, which actually resides in the material by which we feel ourselves warmed. Now I say that whenever I conceive any material or corporeal substance, I immediately feel the need to think of it as bounded, and as having this or that shape; as being large or small in relation to other things, and in some specific place at any given time; as being in motion or at rest; as touching or not touching some other body; and as being one in number, or few, or many. From these conditions I cannot separate such a substance by any stretch of my imagination. But that it must be white or red, bitter or sweet, noisy or silent, and of sweet or foul odor, my mind does not feel compelled to bring in as necessary accompaniments. Without the senses as our guides, reason or imagination unaided would probably never arrive at qualities like these. Hence, I think that tastes, odors, colors, and so on are no more than mere names so far as the object in which we place them is concerned, and that they reside only in the consciousness. Hence if the living creature were removed, all these qualities would be wiped away and annihilated. But since we have imposed upon them special names, distinct from those of the other and real qualities mentioned previously, we wish to believe that they really exist as actually different from those.”
Later derived views are as follows:
“Heat is a very brisk agitation of the sensible parts of the object, so that what in our sensation is heat in the object is nothing but motion.”— John Locke (c.1670), “On the Five Senses of Touch” (Ѻ); in: The Works of John Locke in Nine Volumes, Volume Two (Elements of Natural Philosophy; Chapter 11 (Ѻ)
“Heat seems principally to consist in that mechanical property of matter we call motion.”— Robert Boyle (c.1660), Publication; cited by Donald Cardwell (1971) in From Watt to Clausius (pg. 4)
Caloric theory of heat
In 1787, Antoine Lavoisier began to conduct heat weighting experiments during combustion reactions; the result of which is that he disproved the phlogiston theory through experiment, and replacing it with the “caloric theory”.
Motion theory of heat | Experiments
The downfall in the various "matter theories of heat" began to accrue at the start of the 19th century, which Scottish physicists Balfour Stewart and Peter Tait summarize as follows: 
“Rumford's boiling of water by the heat generated in the boring of a cannon, and Davy's melting of ice by friction in vacuo, were each conclusively demonstrative alike of the non-materiality of heat and of the ultimate fate of work spent in friction. The exact and formal enunciation of the equivalence of heat and work required to fill the lacuna in Newton's statement was first given by Davy in 1812.”
In more detail, in 1798, American-born English physicist Benjamin Thomson (who eventually married Lavoiser's wife, after Lavoisier was guillotined) disproving Lavoisier’s caloric theory, via his famous cannon boring experiment, and followup publication “An Inquiry Concerning the Source of Heat which is Excited by Friction”, to arrive at the motion theory of heat (1798);
In 1799, Humphry Davy performed his famous ice rubbing experiment in which he melted ice in a vacuum via friction.
Thomson, in turn, then appointed the like-minded English physician-physicist Thomas Young to lecture at the Royal Institute, particularly based on the fact that Young was one of the first to embrace his avant-garde idea that heat was the manifestation of atomic motion. Young in addition, however, was the first to experimentally prove the wave theory of light (c.1803), and thus he added to Thomson’s argument that heat must be a combination of motion and light. Young’s description of heat, as presented in his lectures on natural philosophy, published in 1807, is one of the most profound and modern descriptions of heat to be found, even in modern times (aside from the elastic medium part): 
“If heat is not a substance, it must be a quality; and this quality can only be motion. It was Newton’s opinion, that heat consists in a minute vibratory motion of the particles of bodies, and that this motion is communicated through an apparent vacuum, by the undulations of an elastic medium, which is also concerned win the phenomena of light. If the arguments which have lately been advanced, in favor of the undulatory nature of light, be deemed valid, there will be still stronger reasons for admitting his doctrine respecting heat, and it will only be necessary to suppose the vibrations and undulations principally constituting it, to be larger and stronger than those of light, while at the same time the smaller vibrations of light, and even the blackening rays [ultraviolet light], derived from still more minute vibrations, may, perhaps, when sufficiently condensed, concur in producing the effects of heat. These effects, beginning from the blackening rays, which are invisible, are a little more perceptible in the violet, which still possess but a faint power of illumination; the yellow green afford the most light; the red give less light, but much more heat, while the still larger and less frequent vibrations [infrared light], which have no effect on the sense of light, may be supposed to give rise to the least refrangible rays, and to constitute invisible heat.”
This is quite an ingenious description, to say the least. Young incorporates the experimental findings of the motion theory of heat, the experimental findings of the double-slit experiment, and the view that light is one part of the electromagnetic spectrum (a theory completed by James Maxwell in 1873, based on Young's work), to give one of the most cogent descriptions of heat ever presented, even for modern times.
Mechanical equivalent of heat
The next big idea on heat came about through the experiments of English physicist James Joule (among others) who experimentally introduced the mechanical equivalent of heat (1843);
Entropy formula of heat
In 1850, Joule's work on the mechanical equivalent of heat was taken up by German physicist Rudolf Clausius, who, over the next 15-years, combined the “motion theory of heat” with the “mechanical equivalent of heat” with the Euler reciprocity relation to arrive at the exact differential state function formulation of what he called the “equivalence value” of heat:
and by 1865 this equivalence value came to be known as entropy, symbol S. This, in turn, opened the door to numerous mathematical "entropy formulation" varieties of heat, in the years and decades to follow.
|A 2015 novel Elements of Chemistry: Heat (Ѻ) by biomedical research and writer Penny Rad on relationships, sex, heat, and chemistry, which shows an formula-background stylized cover.|
See main: Social heat; Economic heat; Political heat(add summary)
In 1948, American author Thomas Dreier gave the following crude description of “heat” generated in the context of human chemical reactions: 
“What is democracy but a successful formula for controlling the chemical reactions of our 145,000,000 people, and turning the friction and heat generated by our living together into production and progress?”
In this sense, the definition of heat, in human thermodynamics, is the same, however, the terminological transfer and the understanding of generalized state terms, such as "energy" or temperature", and conceptions such as "system", e.g. social system, or "latent heat" used in reference to human social systems is a new area of research. How does the sexual heat of reproduction, for instance, related to the definition of heat as energy in transfer? There are many who will argue that the term "heat" used in reference to human life processes is only metaphor. When human systems are defined as consisting of substrate-attached systems of human molecules, however, according to which heat from the sun falls through a temperature gradient to the body of the cold night sky and thereby drives the daily production of human work, the standard definition of heat finds clarification.
The following are related quotes:
“In this sentence from New Instruments it is clear that Bacon, like Descartes, Count Rumford, Humphry Davy and Young, had a more or less definite notion of the dynamic nature of heat and its convertibility into work. But the exact science which treats of heat as a mode of energy begins with the publication, in 1824, of the Reflections on Motive Power of Fire of Sadi Carnot, who Lord Kelvin calls the ‘profoundest thinker in thermodynamic philosophy’.”— Fielding Garrison (1909), “Josiah Willard Gibbs and his Relation to Modern Science, Parts I-IV” 
● Thermal words
1. Perrot, Pierre. (1998). A to Z of Thermodynamics, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
2. (a) Daintith, John. (2005). Oxford Dictionary of Science. Oxford University Press.
(b) Schroeder, Daniel V. (2000). An Introduction to Thermal Physics, (pg. 18). Addison Wesley Longman.
(c) Baierlein, Ralph. (1999). Thermal Physics, (pg. 21). Cambridge University Press.
3. Gyftopoulos, Elias P. and Berretta, Gian-Paolo. (2005). Thermodynamics - Foundations and Applications, (pg. 226). New York: Dover.
4. Dreier, Thomas. (1948). We Human Chemicals: the Knack of Getting Along with Everybody (pg. 86). Updegraff Press.
5. (a) Young, Thomas. (1807). Natural Philosophy. Publisher.
(b) Robinson, Andrew. (2006). The Last Man Who Knew Everything: Thomas Young, the Anonymous Genius who Proved Newton Wrong and Deciphered the Rosetta Stone, among other Surprising Feats (pg. 128). Plume Books.
6. Stewart, Balfour and Tait, Peter G. (1875). The Unseen Universe: or Physical Speculations on a Future State (§101). Macmillan.
7. (a) Bacon, Francis. (1620). New Instruments: True Suggestions for the Interpretation of Nature (Novum Organum) (pg. 165). London: William Pickering, 1850.
(b) Tyndall, John. (1875). Heat Considered as a Mode of Motion (Appendix to Chapter II, pgs. 50-51). D. Appleton and Co.
(c) Novum Organum (New Instruments) – Wikipedia.
8. (a) Garrison, Fielding H. (1909). “Josiah Willard Gibbs and his Relation to Modern Science, Parts I-IV” (pdf), Popular Science Monthly (1:474), Part I: 74(27):470-84, May; Part II: 74:551-61, Jun; Part III: 75:41-48, Jul; Part IV: Vol #:191-203, Aug.
(b) Thomson, William. (1894). Popular Lectures and Addresses, Volume 2 (pg. 460), London, 1894.
9. (a) Galileo, Galilei. (1623). The Assayer. Publisher.
(b) Galileo, Galilei. (1957). Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo: Including the Starry messenger (1610), Letter to the Grand Duchess Christian (1615), and Excerpts from Letters on Sunspots (1613), and The Assayer (1623) (translator: Stillman Drake) (Excerpts from The Assayer, pgs. 229-80; heat, pgs. 273-74). Anchor Books.
(b) The Assayer – Wikipedia.
(c) Cardwell, Donald S.L. (1971). From Watt to Clausius: the Rise of Thermodynamics in the Early Industrial Age (pg. 2). Cornell University Press.
● Henry, William. (1803). “A Review of Some Experiments which have been supposed to disprove the Materiality of Heat”, Philosophical Magazine, 15:45-54.
● Kelland, Philip. (1837). Theory of Heat (182 pgs). London: John W. Parker.
● Maxwell, James C. (1872). Theory of Heat (313 pgs). London: Longmans, Green, and Co.
● Preston, Thomas. (1894). Theory of Heat (719 pgs). London: MacMillan and Co.
● Fuchs, Hans U. (1996). The Dynamics of Heat. Springer.
● Heat – Wikipedia.
● History of heat – Wikipedia.