# What are the sulfur oxidation numbers in SO_3(g) and SO(g)?

Aug 1, 2017

We gots $\text{sulfur(VI+)}$ versus $\text{sulfur(+II)}$..........

#### Explanation:

Given the standard rules for assigning oxidation numbers, oxygen generally assumes states of $\stackrel{- I I}{O}$, and hydrogen $\stackrel{+ I}{H}$, and it does for these molecules.

And thus the sum of the oxidation numbers equals the charge on the molecule......for sulfuric acid, ..............

$0 = 2 \times + I + 4 \times - I I + {S}_{\text{oxidation number}}$.
Clearly, ${S}_{\text{oxidation number}} = + V I$.

And likewise we gots $\stackrel{+ I I}{S}$ in $S O$. $\text{Sulfur monoxide}$ is an exceptionally rare beast.

What about the oxidation numbers in ${H}_{2} S {O}_{3}$, $S {O}_{3}$, and $S {O}_{2}$?