What is a Chemical Reaction? Key Concepts: A physical change, such as a state change or dissolving, does not create a new substance, but a chemical change does. In a chemical reaction, the atoms and molecules that interact with each other are called reactants. In a chemical reaction, the atoms and molecules produced by the reaction are called products. In a chemical reaction, only the atoms present in the reactants can end up in the products. No new atoms are created, and no atoms are destroyed. In a chemical reaction, reactants contact each other, bonds between atoms in the reactants are broken, and atoms rearrange and form new bonds to make the products.
A process that involves rearrangement of the molecular or ionic structure of a substance, as distinct from a change in physical form or a nuclear reaction.