What is the oxidation state of sulfur in SO3?

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The oxidation state of a substance is the electric charge it is exhibiting in a given state. This may be determined by looking at the oxidation states of accompanying atoms as well as the charge on the complete molecule. In this case: Molecular charge: 0 Oxidation state of oxygen: -2 (it is a group 6 element) Thus, S + 3 * -2 = 0 S = 6 Sulfur is exhibiting an oxidation state of +6.

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