Sodium thiosulfate

1. Oct 27, 2009

Jules18

How would I figure out the formula for Sodium Thiosulfate?

I was asked that question on an exam and I knew sodium sulfate was Na2SO4, so I figured ok, thio means sulfur, so I'll just add another S like this:

Na2S2O4

But my prof said Na2S2O3
was the right answer, and I have no idea how I was supposed to know there were only 3 O's, since it's not sulfite.
Wikipedia agrees with him, tho.

Any ideas?

~Jules~

2. Oct 27, 2009

KevinMcGovern

You're replacing an Oxygen atom with a Sulfur atom. The original compound is Sodium Sulfate, which is Na2SO4, but when it becomes Sodium Thiosulfate, one of the Oxygen atoms is replaced with a Sulfur atom. So it becomes N2S2O3.

If it were to be Sodium Dithiosulfate, you would replace 2 Oxygen atoms with 2 sulfur atoms, so it would be N2S3O2

3. Oct 28, 2009

lightarrow

Also, consider that in your formula: Na2S2O4 sulfur would have oxidation number = 3, which doesn't exist (for sulfur).