Molecules in motion. A form of kinetic energy. Measured in temperature units such as Fahrenheit, Celsius and Kelvin. Heat is produced by the conversion of other forms of energy, for example by the oxidation process known as burning. Heat can be transferred by radiation.

Sadi Carnot proved that heat cannot travel from a colder to a hotter object. The study of heat is part of the field of thermodynamics.

1. Intensive police activity; police pressure put upon criminals as a result of public resentment against widespread crime, newspaper crusades, political reform campaigns, etc.; extensive police raids and arrests. "We can't grift (steal) in this heat. Blow (leave town) for a while." Used idiomaticly, as : "The heat is on" -police activity in a given area is at its peak; the police are on one's trail. "Stash (hide) that collat (negotiable loot). You can't fence (sell) it for peanuts (any appreciable sum) when the heat is still on." 2. A revolver or pistol. "Go get the heat. There's some crimp (informer) we gotta take care of (kill)."

- american underworld dictionary - 1950
HEAT is also an acronym for a type of warhead. It stands for High Explosive Anti-Tank. A HEAT warhead uses a shaped charge's increased penetrating power to defeat its target's armor rather than the energy of the warhead's travel, as would a kinetic energy weapon.

See also: APFSDS, HESH.

Temperature and Heat

  • The amount of heat required for a given increase in temperature in a given substance is its specific heat.
  • Base unit is the calorie, one calorie is the amount of heat that will raise the temperature of one gram of water one degree Celsius
  • Heat is a form if kinetic energy as applied to molecules. Moving molecules create a raise in temperature, but the bonds hold them steady. The bonds have to be broken by heat to generate a raise in temperature. This is inefficient, and creates a stable temperature for organisms.



  • Transition to a solid
  • Density of water increases until it drops to four degrees Celsius
  • All molecules form hydrogen bonds immediately and expand.
  • For solid water to become liquid, 79.7 calories per gram are needed. This is its heat of fusion, and is drawn from the surroundings.
  • Presence of dissolved substance lowers temperature at which water freezes.

(Back to Easter Egg Poems)

The summer river:
although there is a bridge, my horse
goes through the water.


CST approved

"Heat" was also the title of a 1999 autobiography by former baseball pitcher Dwight Gooden, with Bob Klapisch. The book details Gooden's meteoric rise to fame in the mid-80s and his highly-publicized fall, due to cocaine.

It's a good read, and gives insight into the battles of a recovering drug addict. Particularly moving was a desciption of a night when Gooden held a gun to his head, in absolute misery, his life falling apart.

Find it at a library near you...

4:15 pm, on a Friday. I'm headed home. Where did you go today?

I walked out of a sterile building and into the heat. Concrete, asphalt, steely skeletons, offset by green, green grass and a crow. Sterility chills me to the bone -- stepping back into the world warms me, by inches. The sun bounces on my skin, and I can relax to the familiar sensation of coming in from the cold. Invisible sunshine rubs my shoulders and neck. I happily keep on walking.

Hard to look around when everything's so bright. Glittering white concrete and the reflections of a thousand little tiny car mirrors. I cover my eyes and squint some more. Cars pass, noxious fumes. My scalp starts to itch and burn. I try to guess the temperature -- 104, 107? Seems about right. I trudge on.

Dry, very dry. The grass represents riches and waste, the cars are sealed up and anonymous to me. The relentless heat draws the energy right out of me. My body already wants water, and I've only gone a quarter mile. I keep walking; there isn't much shade where I'm headed.

Passing through the maze of white lines, every inch of me is hot and dry. I feel dusty, even though I'm not. I find my truck easily in the vast, deserted parking lot, far off in the distance. I get out my keys and unlock the door, being careful not to touch the metal. I quickly pop open the door, before the metal handle can burn my fingers. Chuck my junk in the front seat, kick door, walk around, keys, unlock, crank window, adjust blanket, sit carefully. As a test, I lay my hand slowly on the dash. Nothing for a split second, then a rapidly escalating heat. Even as my arm trembles, I struggle to master my reflexes -- pain is something, too, and I can re-shape it. In a peculiar act of concentration and distraction, I change the burning into a pleasant tingle. The heat slowly fades, drawn up into somewhere. I can take my hand off now.

Keys, ignition. Only I can't actually turn the key, I have to use the keyring instead. Awkward, but it works. Vinyl is one thing...metal is another. I've had my share of blisters, anyway, that's for sure. The engine coughs and wheezes, and wakes up. So did I, this morning. Parking brake, clutch, gear. Look around...let's get going.

Turn, drive around bus. Lane change, turn. Clutch, clutch. Glancing at the slow-moving freeway, I opt for 8th street instead. Get in line. Look around. No one else is out there; all I can see is cars. Look at my open window, people, and know I suffer. I mop the sweat from my brow, and debate whether to turn off the fan. Having 100-degree air blown on you almost helps, but not quite.

The light turns green, and I'm startled by the guitars suddenly coming in. I shift gears deftly, using only the heel of my hand. The wind rushes by the window, and the band-aids on my other hand flutter, melted partly off by the heat and the perspiration. I shift uncomfortably, knowing the back of my nice shirt is soaked. Why didn't I take it off before I started? The tires of the truck in front of my look flat.

on a distant shoreline...she waves her arms to me...

Shoreline? What's that? A huge pool of cold water. Cold all the time, despite the sun. I saw it once, it was neat. Water, everywhere. Strange smells. Red light, glide to a stop. I look around me, and it seems like a barren wasteland. The grassy lawns in front of the office buildings look so fake -- the backdrop is dirt, stones, and thorny plants, and distant brown mountains, and in the foreground are over two million people who want to pretend otherwise. It never rains.

the steam of my misfortunes...has given me the power to be afraid

Fear? It's a dangerous way of life. You could slip or crash. Someone else could crash you. Someone at a computer could make a mistake. You could misinterpret something, for all time. So-and-so acts, and I respond. Life is a lot like jumping into a cool swimming pool, provided sharks have been added. Run, jump, splash. Keep your head above water but keep your feet on the ground. Try not to close your eyes too long. Get out when you're too cold.

my secret thoughts come alive...

Who's to say what's right? My imaginings get me everywhere and nowhere (sometimes opposites are complements). A sumptuous life in my head, and an austere one in this barren world. But what's really barren? My mental reconstructions, or the face of the earth? So many traps of thought and assumption. See through the eyes of others.

it's what you take that makes it right... The present is accountable. Too many contributions to keep looking back, or worse, looking down other paths. Who wants to wane nostalgic when life flashes before your (mental) eyes?

and in my mind I'm everyone...

Pull up to the curb, stop, brake, keys, door, lock. Grab my bag of nonsense from the passenger seat and lock the door. I ache for a drink of water. I sort of flick-twist the doorknob and kick the door open softly -- that doorknob will burn you almost instantly. The house is dark, dark, dark, and the TV is already on.

     "Well, I've been knocked down, blown up, lied to, shit on, and shot at, so nothing suprises me much anymore except the things people do to each other. I'm not a virgin except in my heart. I'm a licensed pilot, everything from Jennies through jets. I've taught karate in Tokyo and lectured on economics at Wharton. I can memorize the front page of The New York Times in five minutes and repeat it back to you in five weeks. I can follow anyone anywhere from in front or behind. I can go forty-eight hours without sleep or a drop in efficiency. I can bench-press four hundred and fifty pounds ten times without a break and was national Golden Gloves champion three years in a row. I speak four languages fluently and can wrestle with a menu in five more."
     "Jesus--" from Cyrus Kinick.
     "--and don't interrupt me, I wasn't done, there's more!"
     "Yeah. I lie a lot."

-Nick Escalante on his qualifications to a client
Heat is a novel by William Goldman. Most people will recognize Goldman's name as the writer of the novel and script for The Princess Bride. However, this is quite different from the fairy tale story of The Princess Bride however.

Heat is a fiction novel following the main character Nick Escalante, also known as The Mex. In a magazine article he was announced as the deadliest man within 30 feet where guns were not involved, but that's not all he is. Sure, he offers his services out as a bodyguard in Las Vegas, but he is much more complicated than that. What he wants most of all is to get enough money so that he can escape the neon lights and bodyguarding. He studies up on amazing places in the world to be, and he travels to them in his head. But to actually be there, that is his dream.

On the day of his five thousandth day in Las Vegas, some strange occurences occur. An old childhood friend enlists his help in getting revenge on a crime boss who raped her, an old client starts getting strange ransom notes, a rich client lies to him for the reasons that he wants a bodyguard, and he gets oh so close to getting the money he needs to escape Las Vegas.

Heat is a wonderful William Goldman novel, it carries the action, drama, and humour in a classic Goldman style. The way Goldman describes the action is perfect, and the character of Escalante is quite amusing. This is one of my favorite novels to read, and I recommend it to anyone.

Heat was also made into a movie in 1987, which was directed by Jerry Jameson and Dick Richards. The screenplay was also adapted by William Goldman. The movie is sorely lacking, and horribly done. The casting of Burt Reynolds as The Mex seems to be just wrong. This just isn't that worthwhile of a film, and you're better off reading the book.

Burt Reynolds - Nick Escalente, The Mex
Karen Young - Holly
Peter MacNicol - Cyrus Kinnick
Howard Hesseman - Pinchus Zion
Neill Barry - Danny DeMarco
Diana Scarwid - Cassie
Joseph Mascolo - Baby
Alfie Wise - Felix
Deborah Rush - D.D.
Wendell Burton - Osgood
Joanne Jackson - Millicent
Joe Klecko - Kinlaw
Peter Koch - Tiel
Joseph Bernard - Pit Boss
Barry Polkowitz - Hot Shot Dealer
Chris O'Rourke - Katherine
Reno Nichols - Bartender
Ron Tombaugh - Parking Lot Man
Mone Swann - Lounge Singer
Robert Drake - Mean-eyed Dealer
Robert Vento - Bartender
Joey Villa - Himself
Michael Lovell Farris - Bouncer


Heat - 1995
Written and Directed by Michael Mann

Neil McCauley (Robert DeNiro) and his crew of professional thieves move through Los Angeles always on the lookout for big money scores. After a botched armored car job, top robbery/homicide detective Vincent Hanna (Al Pacino) gets on their trail. Both teams of cops and robbers stage an elaborate cat and mouse game throughout L.A., all while attempting to keep their personal lives from interfering with their work. Vincent is on his third marriage, which is quickly falling apart, and Neil finds himself falling in love with Eady, an innocent graphic designer.

No simple plot summary can give justice to the epic scale of this movie. This film has like 10 or 12 people that can be classified as major characters. All of them are fleshed out, complete with a backstory and a personal life. This results in a sumptuous feast for the intelligent moviegoer, unfortunately it also results in a somewhat bloated 180-minute running time.

Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino are both excellent in their respective roles. The scene where they finally meet face to face in the coffee shop must rank as one of the best of the 1990s. DeNiro is essentially playing the same hardened criminal character he has been playing for the last ten years, not that that’s a bad thing. He’s tough, no-nonsense, and trying to find his last big score before he can retire to New Zealand. Pacino oscillates wildly between cool and collected and chewing-the-scenery insane. Most of the time it’s OK, but sometimes it feels like he’s channeling some weird amalgamation of Nicholas Cage and Gary Oldman and the craziness end up pulling you out of the story. The “Cause she’s got a great ass!!” scene is one excellent example, you’ll know it right when you hear it.

Like most of Michael Mann’s movies, this film deals with driven men and they jobs they feel they must do, often neglecting what other people would consider to be their “personal” lives. For these men their job is their life, everything else is just something that happens in between. This is conflict is longstanding in American action pictures, between the man with "man's work" and the female principal, the woman who wants to tame him, wants him to stay at home. Heat, with its wonderful screenplay, handles it with insight. The men in his movie are addicted to their lives. There is a scene where the thieves essentially have all the money they need. They can retire. But another job presents itself, and they cannot resist it, as Tom Sizemore’s character puts it: "It's the juice. It's the action." That is what they really want.

The heist sequences are very realistic looking and excellently choreographed. They are so entertaining that I wish there were a few more of them in the film. They help to break up the many scenes of exposition so well that sometimes you wish Mann would hurry up with all this dialogue and get to another action scene.

Vincent Hanna: You know, we are sitting here like a couple of regular fellows and if I have to go out there and put you down, I'll tell you, I won't like it. But if it's between you and some poor bastard whose wife you're gonna turn into a widow, buddy, you are going down.

Neil McCauley: There is a flip side to this coin. What if you do get me boxed in and I will have to put you down? Cause no matter what, you will not get in my way. We've been face to face, yeah. But I will not hesitate, not for a second.

Of course this all leads up to a final showdown between DeNiro and Pacino. Both are such well-known actors and their characters are portrayed with such depth that you can’t tell who’s going to end up winning or losing in the end. After it’s all over, you may feel like it was a little anticlimactic, but maybe I just felt like that because my guy didn’t win.

I have barely scratched the surface of this film in my review, you owe it to yourself to see it when you have some time on your hands. Don’t watch the TV version though, 40 minutes of footage has been cut in order for it to fit a three-hour network timeslot. Michael Mann offered to add 17 minutes of cut footage in order to make it fit a four-hour slot, but he was turned down. As a result of this, the network TV versions are credited to Alan Smithee. The DVD is very bare bones, no extras at all and the print isn’t even very clean. This is almost unconscionable with the knowledge that there is at least 17 minutes of useable extra footage out there. If a film ever needed a special edition

What can I say? Go see Heat!

I usually don’t do cast listings, but this film almost begs for it.

Al Pacino…………..Vincent Hanna 
Robert DeNiro……….Neil McCauley 
Val Kilmer………….Chris Shiherlis 
Jon Voight………….Nate 
Tom Sizemore………..Michael Cheritto 
Diane Venora………..Justine Hanna 
Amy Brenneman……....Eady 
Ashley Judd…………Charlene Shiherlis 
Mykelti Williamson…..Sergeant Drucker 
Wes Studi…………..Detective Casals
Natalie Portman……..Lauren Hanna
Hank Azaria…………Alan Marciano
Danny Trejo…………Trejo
Henry Rollins……….Hugh Benny
Tone Loc……………Richard Torena
Jeremy Piven………..Dr. Bob

Trivia and cast listing from IMDB

Heat (?), n. [OE. hete, haete, AS. htu, hto, fr. hat hot; akin to OHG. heizi heat, Dan. hede, Sw. hetta. See Hot.]


A force in nature which is recognized in various effects, but especially in the phenomena of fusion and evaporation, and which, as manifested in fire, the sun's rays, mechanical action, chemical combination, etc., becomes directly known to us through the sense of feeling. In its nature heat is a mode if motion, being in general a form of molecular disturbance or vibration. It was formerly supposed to be a subtile, imponderable fluid, to which was given the name caloric.

⇒ As affecting the human body, heat produces different sensations, which are called by different names, as heat or sensible heat, warmth, cold, etc., according to its degree or amount relatively to the normal temperature of the body.


The sensation caused by the force or influence of heat when excessive, or above that which is normal to the human body; the bodily feeling experienced on exposure to fire, the sun's rays, etc.; the reverse of cold.


High temperature, as distinguished from low temperature, or cold; as, the heat of summer and the cold of winter; heat of the skin or body in fever, etc.

Else how had the world . . . Avoided pinching cold and scorching heat! Milton.


Indication of high temperature; appearance, condition, or color of a body, as indicating its temperature; redness; high color; flush; degree of temperature to which something is heated, as indicated by appearance, condition, or otherwise.

It has raised . . . heats in their faces. Addison.

The heats smiths take of their iron are a blood-red heat, a white-flame heat, and a sparking or welding heat. Moxon.


A single complete operation of heating, as at a forge or in a furnace; as, to make a horseshoe in a certain number of heats.


A violent action unintermitted; a single effort; a single course in a race that consists of two or more courses; as, he won two heats out of three.

Many causes . . . for refreshment betwixt the heats. Dryden.

[He] struck off at one heat the matchless tale of "Tam o'Shanter." J. C. Shairp.


Utmost violence; rage; vehemence; as, the heat of battle or party.

"The heat of their division."



Agitation of mind; inflammation or excitement; exasperation.

"The head and hurry of his rage."



Animation, as in discourse; ardor; fervency.

With all the strength and heat of eloquence. Addison.


Sexual excitement in animals.



Animal heat, Blood heat, Capacity for heat, etc. See under Animal, Blood, etc. -- Atomic heat (Chem.), the product obtained by multiplying the atomic weight of any element by its specific heat. The atomic heat of all solid elements is nearly a constant, the mean value being 6.4. -- Dynamical theory of heat, that theory of heat which assumes it to be, not a peculiar kind of matter, but a peculiar motion of the ultimate particles of matter. Heat engine, any apparatus by which a heated substance, as a heated fluid, is made to perform work by giving motion to mechanism, as a hot-air engine, or a steam engine. -- Heat producers. Physiol. See under Food. -- Heat rays, a term formerly applied to the rays near the red end of the spectrum, whether within or beyond the visible spectrum. -- Heat weight Mech., the product of any quantity of heat by the mechanical equivalent of heat divided by the absolute temperature; -- called also thermodynamic function, and entropy. -- Mechanical equivalent of heat. See under Equivalent. -- Specific heat of a substance (at any temperature), the number of units of heat required to raise the temperature of a unit mass of the substance at that temperature one degree. -- Unit of heat, the quantity of heat required to raise, by one degree, the temperature of a unit mass of water, initially at a certain standard temperature. The temperature usually employed is that of 0° Centigrade, or 32° Fahrenheit.


© Webster 1913.

Heat (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Heated; p. pr. & vb. n. Heating.] [OE. heten, AS. htan, fr. hat hot. See Hot.]


To make hot; to communicate heat to, or cause to grow warm; as, to heat an oven or furnace, an iron, or the like.

Heat me these irons hot. Shak.


To excite or make hot by action or emotion; to make feverish.

Pray, walk softly; do not heat your blood. Shak.


To excite ardor in; to rouse to action; to excite to excess; to inflame, as the passions.

A noble emulation heats your breast. Dryden.


© Webster 1913.

Heat, v. i.


To grow warm or not by the action of fire or friction, etc., or the communication of heat; as, the iron or the water heats slowy.


To grow warm or hot by fermentation, or the development of heat by chemical action; as, green hay heats in a mow, and manure in the dunghill.


© Webster 1913.

Heat (?), imp. & p. p. of Heat.

Heated; as, the iron though heat red-hot

. [Obs. or Archaic.]



© Webster 1913.

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