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 The Nature of Chemical Reactions


    1.    Describe the Characteristics of a chemical reaction.

    2.    Distinguish between reactants and products.

Key Terms:

    Chemical reaction    Reactants    Products


Chemical reactions occur around us every day.  As we cook, drive our cars and digest the foods we eat we are changing substances into new substances.   A chemical reaction occurs when a substance is converted into a new substance with new physical and chemical properties.  Consider the chemical reaction of photo synthesis:


In this reaction water and Carbon dioxide are changed into sugar and oxygen.  H2O and CO2 are the reactants of the reaction and C6H12O6 and O2 are the products.  The change is permanent.  That is your test for a chemical reaction.  If your cannot reverse the reaction and get the original reactants, a chemical change has taken place.  

Here are some examples of chemical reactions:    combustion


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Last modified: December 06, 2002