# What is the oxidation number of "H"_2"O" ?

Aug 13, 2018

Well, oxidation number is an atomic property, i.e. a property of the atoms within a molecule....

#### Explanation:

And since water is a neutral molecule, the SUM of the oxidation numbers of hydrogen, and oxygen WITHIN THE MOLECULE must be ZERO....

And thus within water...

${H}_{\text{oxidation number}} = + I$...

${O}_{\text{oxidation number}} = - I I$...

And $2 \times {H}_{\text{oxidation number"+O_"oxidation number}} = 0$...as required...

Of course, as the ELEMENTS, NEITHER oxygen nor hydrogen are conceived to have been reduced or oxidized...and their oxidation numbers are ZERO....