Beta (, ; uppercase ?, lowercase ?, or cursive ?; Ancient Greek: ?, romanized: bta or Greek: ? vita) is the second letter of the Greek alphabet. In the system of Greek numerals it has a value of 2. In Ancient Greek, beta represented the voiced bilabial plosive /b/. In Modern Greek, it represents the voiced labiodental fricative /v/. Letters that arose from beta include the Roman letter ⟨B⟩ and the Cyrillic letters ⟨?⟩ and ⟨?⟩.
Like the names of most other Greek letters, the name of beta was adopted from the acrophonic name of the corresponding letter in Phoenician, which was the common Semitic word *bait ('house'). In Greek, the name was ? bêta, pronounced [b:ta] in Ancient Greek. It is spelled ? in modern monotonic orthography and pronounced ['vita].
The letter ? had the largest number of highly divergent local forms. Besides the standard form (either rounded or pointed, ), there were forms as varied as (Gortyn), and (Thera), (Argos), (Melos), (Corinth), (Megara, Byzantium), (Cyclades).
In the system of Greek numerals, beta has a value of 2. Such use is denoted by a number mark?.
Beta is used in finance as a measure of investment portfolio risk. Beta in this context is calculated as the covariance of the portfolio's returns with its benchmark's returns, divided by the variance of the benchmark's returns. A beta of 1.5 means that for every 1% change in the value of the benchmark, the portfolio's value tends to change by 1.5%.
A superscript version may also indicate a compressed vowel, like .
Beta is often used to denote a variable in mathematics and physics, where it often has specific meanings for certain applications. In physics a stream of unbound energetic electrons is commonly referred to as beta radiation or beta rays. In regression analysis, ⟨B⟩ symbolizes nonstandardized partial slope coefficients, whereas ⟨?⟩ represents standardized (standard deviation-score form) coefficients; in both cases, the coefficients reflect the change in the criterion Y per one-unit change in the value of the associated predictor X.
? is sometimes used as a placeholder for an ordinal number if ? is already used.
In spaceflight, beta angle describes the angle between the orbit plane of a spacecraft or other body and the vector from the sun.
The term "beta" has become a common adjective used colloquially to describe someone who is displaying behaviors that classify them as unremarkable and confrontational, often lacking charisma and confidence. It is often used in the phrase "beta male," which is used to describe a person of the male gender who fails to assert any dominant "alpha actions" into their character, such as lurking a group chat online without participating or substantial lacking of social awareness.
In typesetting technical literature, it is a commonly made mistake to use the German letter ß (a s-z or s-s ligature) as a replacement for ?. The two letters resemble each other in some fonts, but they are unrelated.
"Beta" can be used to refer to several consumer and professional videotape formats developed by Japan's Sony Corporation. Although similarly named, they are very different in function and obsolescence.
|Unicode name||GREEK CAPITAL LETTER BETA||GREEK SMALL LETTER BETA||GREEK BETA SYMBOL||MODIFIER LETTER SMALL BETA||GREEK SUBSCRIPT SMALL LETTER BETA|
|UTF-8||206 146||CE 92||206 178||CE B2||207 144||CF 90||225 181 157||E1 B5 9D||225 181 166||E1 B5 A6|
|Numeric character reference||Β||Β||β||β||ϐ||ϐ||ᵝ||ᵝ||ᵦ||ᵦ|
|Named character reference||Β||β|
|Unicode name||LATIN CAPITAL LETTER BETA||LATIN SMALL LETTER BETA|
|UTF-8||234 158 180||EA 9E B4||234 158 181||EA 9E B5|
|Numeric character reference||Ꞵ||Ꞵ||ꞵ||ꞵ|
|Unicode name||MATHEMATICAL BOLD
|MATHEMATICAL BOLD ITALIC
|MATHEMATICAL BOLD ITALIC|
|UTF-8||240 157 154 169||F0 9D 9A A9||240 157 155 131||F0 9D 9B 83||240 157 155 163||F0 9D 9B A3||240 157 155 189||F0 9D 9B BD||240 157 156 157||F0 9D 9C 9D||240 157 156 183||F0 9D 9C B7|
|UTF-16||55349 57001||D835 DEA9||55349 57027||D835 DEC3||55349 57059||D835 DEE3||55349 57085||D835 DEFD||55349 57117||D835 DF1D||55349 57143||D835 DF37|
|Numeric character reference||𝚩||𝚩||𝛃||𝛃||𝛣||𝛣||𝛽||𝛽||𝜝||𝜝||𝜷||𝜷|
|Unicode name||MATHEMATICAL SANS-SERIF
BOLD CAPITAL BETA
BOLD SMALL BETA
BOLD ITALIC CAPITAL BETA
BOLD ITALIC SMALL BETA
|UTF-8||240 157 157 151||F0 9D 9D 97||240 157 157 177||F0 9D 9D B1||240 157 158 145||F0 9D 9E 91||240 157 158 171||F0 9D 9E AB|
|UTF-16||55349 57175||D835 DF57||55349 57201||D835 DF71||55349 57233||D835 DF91||55349 57259||D835 DFAB|
|Numeric character reference||𝝗||𝝗||𝝱||𝝱||𝞑||𝞑||𝞫||𝞫|
These characters are used only as mathematical symbols. Stylized Greek text should be encoded using the normal Greek letters, with markup and formatting to indicate text style.