Recent progress in the study of chemical reactions of laser pumped electronically excited atoms is presented. A brief discussion of the design of these types of experiments is given and is based largely on the constraints imposed by presently available laser systems. A new tunable laser source developed to increase the range of experiments accessible to workers in the field is also described. Several examples of recent experiments on the reactions of laser excited atoms are given. Emphasis is given to the interpretation of the experimental results with various surface model calculations. Finally, a quick consideration of the importance of laser photochemistry to near-term industrial applications is outlined.