Problem: Aluminum oxide (Al2O3) is a widely used industrial abrasive (known as emery or corundum), for which the specific application depends on the hardness of the crystal. What does this hardness imply about the magnitude of the lattice energy? Would you have predicted from the chemical formula that Al2O3 is hard? Explain.

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Lattice energy is the enthalpy change that occurs when 1 mol of ionic solid separates into gaseous ions. Lattice energy tells us the strength of ionic interactions and has influence in melting point and hardness.

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Aluminum oxide (Al2O3) is a widely used industrial abrasive (known as emery or corundum), for which the specific application depends on the hardness of the crystal. What does this hardness imply about the magnitude of the lattice energy? Would you have predicted from the chemical formula that Al2O3 is hard? Explain.