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Basic Chemistry Concepts

Chemical Reaction

electrical charge, iron oxide, chemical reaction, oxygen, example

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Chemical Reaction, process by which atoms or groups of atoms are redistributed, resulting in a change in the molecular composition of substances. An example of a chemical reaction is formation of rust (iron oxide), which is produced when oxygen in the air reacts with iron.

The products obtained from a given set of reactants, or starting materials, depend on the conditions under which a chemical reaction occurs. Careful study, however, shows that although products may vary with changing conditions, some quantities remain constant during any chemical reaction. These constant quantities, called the conserved quantities, include the number of each kind of atom present, the electrical charge, and the total mass.


Campbell, James Arthur, M.S., Ph.D.

Late Seeley W. Mudd Professor of Chemistry, Harvey Mudd College. Coauthor of "Chemistry: The Unending Frontier". Contributor to "Journal of Chemical Physics", "Chemical Journal", and other publications.

Article key phrases:

electrical charge, iron oxide, chemical reaction, oxygen, example, air, process, change, number, products

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