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I) According to my logic, sulfur-sulfur linkage (linkage between same atoms) result in no charge separation.So, the oxidation number of the sulfur atom linked to only sulfur should be 0(zero) and other sulfur being +4 as it is connected to 3(more electronegative) oxygen atoms.

Thus, the oxidation number of sulfur atoms should be +4,0.

II)However, Using X-ray absorption to probe sulfur oxidation states in complex molecules claims that oxidation states are +6 and -2.

III)Again,Determination of Changes in Sulfur Oxidation States in Prostate Cancer Cells proved that that oxidation states are +5,-1.

These three sets of results left thoroughly confused.Which one of them is correct and why?

Following the same sequence of logic: My counter-question for the claims (I) and (II) is "Why the oxidation number of sulfur atoms of Disulfur monoxide is [ +2 and 0 ] instead of [+4 and -2] or [+3 and -1] ?"

Disulfur monoxide


marked as duplicate by Jan, M.A.R., hBy2Py, Klaus-Dieter Warzecha, Zhe Apr 4 '17 at 17:14

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  • $\begingroup$ Related: Oxidation states of the sulfur atoms in the thiosulfate ion $\endgroup$ – orthocresol Apr 4 '17 at 14:33
  • $\begingroup$ orthocresol .Sir, I went to the link you have sent me but it doesn't answer my question and specifically my counter question . What is the absolute answer of the oxidation states of sulphur? $\endgroup$ – Swastik Apr 4 '17 at 14:35
  • $\begingroup$ Is it +6 and -2 or +5 and -1? $\endgroup$ – Swastik Apr 4 '17 at 14:38
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    $\begingroup$ There is no absolute answer. Oxidation states are human invention and not facts of nature. $\endgroup$ – Ivan Neretin Apr 4 '17 at 14:50
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    $\begingroup$ Couldn't you just treat terminal S as non-innocent ligand and give us a break? $\endgroup$ – Mithoron Apr 4 '17 at 14:58