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Which answer best describes an O_3/ozone molecule:

1. Each atom in ozone is connected to another atom by 1.5 bonds.

2.The double bond in ozone switches back and forth between the two outer oxygen atoms.

3.An ozone molecule contains one single bond and one double bond.

I want to go with #2 but I am not 100% positive. I know that there can only be 2 different resonance structures for ozone...and what they are to look like...but is there a better answer than #2??

  • CHEM -

    #2 can't be right. Just remember that resonance structures are NOT one thing part of the time and another thing at another time; i.e., they do NOT switch back and forth. They are a hybrid bond, not an alternating from one to another bond.
    #3 can't be right. As you correctly point out, we know there are two resonance hybrids we can draw.
    So that leaves #1 as the only plausible answer. The texts I read say O-O bond length is intermediate between a single bond and a double bond. And that would be about 1.5 bonds.

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