What is the Born-Haber Cycle?
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The Born-Haber cycle is designed to measure lattice energy. Ionic compounds form crystal structures called lattices. To melt or dissolve the ionic compound, you must break that lattice. The energy required to do this is called “lattice energy.”
The Born-Haber cycle itself is a shortcut method. We use something called Hess’s law to avoid a lot of messy calculations. Hess’s law states that the energy it takes to make a compound is equal to the the energies of the products minus the energies of the reactants. So Born-Haber uses the concept to state that the lattice energy is equal to the energy required to make each element a gas and then ionize it.
To shorten that explanation: The Born-Haber cycle allows you to figure out how easy or hard an ionic compound is to melt using a standard heat of formation table.
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