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In this problem it asks to arrange the following molecules/ions in order of decreasing lengths: SO2, SO3, and SO32-. The answer is SO32- > SO2 ~SO3. I understand why SO32- has the longest length, however I don't understand why the other two would have equal/same lengths? If this were to be on a test how would we know that they were equal?
Both Lewis structures have one double bonded O and the other(s) are single bonded. Because of resonance, the double bonds are shared throughout the molecule. This makes the bond lengths approximately equal in the molecules even though technically SO2 should be a little shorter due to the double bond being shared at 2 bonds instead of 3.
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