# Question #8624c

Jun 4, 2015

Sulfur dioxide has $s {p}^{2}$ hybridization on the central atom.

To get the hybridization of the central atom, you need to determine how many regions of electron density surround it in the molecule - this is known as the steric number.

Regions of electron density are lone pair of electrons, and bonds, regardless of the type - single, double, and triple bonds all count as 1 region of electron density.

In sulfur dioxide's case, the sulfur atom is bonded to two oxygen atoms and has 1 lone pair of electrons present. This means that its steric number is equal to 3, so it will have 3 hybrid orbitals formed from one s-orbital and two p-orbitals $\to$ $s {p}^{2}$ hybridization.

Regardless of which Lewis structure you draw for the sulfur dioxide molecule, the central atom is still bonded to two oxygen atoms and has one lone pair present.