Beta
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Greek alphabet  



History  
Use in other languages  
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Beta (UK /ˈbiːtə/ or US /ˈbeɪtə/; uppercase Β, lowercase β, or cursive ϐ; Ancient Greek: βῆτα bḗta or Modern Greek: βήτα víta) 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 ⟨Б⟩ and ⟨В⟩.
Name
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 *bayt ('house'). In Greek, the name was βῆτα bêta, pronounced [bɛ̂ːta] in Ancient Greek. It is spelled βήτα in modern monotonic orthography, and pronounced [ˈvita]. In US English, the name is pronounced /ˈbeɪtə/, while in British English it is pronounced /ˈbiːtə/. Beta in Hindi and Urdu means elder royal son (sometimes also called Beta Ji).
History
The letter beta was derived from the Phoenician letter beth .
The letter Β 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).^{[1]}
Uses
Algebraic numerals
In the system of Greek numerals, beta has a value of 2. Such use is denoted by a number mark: Β′. In Scientific unit notation it is used as a particle and pronounced as a /bIta/
Computing
In computing, the term "beta" is used as (usually) the last testing release (or the preview release) in the software release life cycle before the "release" version. Beta versions often have a version number of the form "0.n", (or "build number"). Typically it is the last version before a version of a software is fully released to all its actual customers.
Finance
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 changes by 1.5%.
International Phonetic Alphabet
In the International Phonetic Alphabet, Greek minuscule beta denotes a voiced bilabial fricative [β].
Meteorology
The name Beta was used as a name during the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season as Hurricane Beta.
Mathematics and science
Beta is often used to denote a variable in mathematics and physics, where it often has specific meanings for certain applications, such as representing beta radiation. In regression analysis, ⟨B⟩ symbolizes nonstandardized partial slope coefficients, whereas ⟨β⟩ represents standardized (standard deviationscore form) coefficients; in both cases, the coefficients reflect the change in the criterion Y per oneunit change in the value of the associated predictor X.
β is sometimes used as a placeholder for an ordinal number if α 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.
Rock climbing terminology
The term "beta" refers to advice on how to successfully complete a particular climbing route, boulder problem, or crux sequence.
Statistics
In statistics, beta may represent type II error, or regression slope.
Typography
In some highquality typesetting, especially in the French tradition, a typographic variant of the lowercase letter without a descender is used within a word for ancient Greek: βίβλος is printed βίϐλος.^{[2]}
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 β. The two letters resemble each other in some fonts, but they are unrelated.
Videotape formats
"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.
 Betamax was the name of a domestic videotape format developed in the 1970s and 1980s. It competed with the Video Home System (VHS) format developed by the Japanese Victor Company, to which it eventually succumbed. The Betamax format was also marketed Betacord by (Sanyo); some cassettes were simply labeled "Beta." Betamax lost in the market and is an oftused example of a technically superior solution that failed due to market forces.
 Betacam, including Beta SP and DigiBeta, is a family of professional videotape formats launched in 1982 that was the de facto standard for professional video, advertising, and television production through the 2000s. The formats outlasted analog NTSC television, and their scarcity today is because the industry has moved to HD formats.
Character encodings
 Greek Beta
Character  Β  β  ϐ  ᵝ  ᵦ  

Unicode name  GREEK CAPITAL LETTER BETA  GREEK SMALL LETTER BETA  GREEK BETA SYMBOL  MODIFIER LETTER SMALL BETA  GREEK SUBSCRIPT SMALL LETTER BETA  
Encodings  decimal  hex  decimal  hex  decimal  hex  decimal  hex  decimal  hex 
Unicode  914  U+0392  946  U+03B2  976  U+03D0  7517  U+1D5D  7526  U+1D66 
UTF8  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  
DOS Greek  129  81  153  99  
DOS Greek2  165  A5  215  D7  
Windows 1253  194  C2  226  E2  
TeX  \beta 
 Latin Beta
Character  Ꞵ  ꞵ  

Unicode name  LATIN CAPITAL LETTER BETA  LATIN SMALL LETTER BETA  
Encodings  decimal  hex  decimal  hex 
Unicode  42932  U+A7B4  42933  U+A7B5 
UTF8  234 158 180  EA 9E B4  234 158 181  EA 9E B5 
Numeric character reference  Ꞵ  Ꞵ  ꞵ  ꞵ 
 CJK Square Beta
Character  ㌼  

Unicode name  SQUARE BEETA  
Encodings  decimal  hex 
Unicode  13116  U+333C 
UTF8  227 140 188  E3 8C BC 
Numeric character reference  ㌼  ㌼ 
 Mathematical Beta
Character  𝚩  𝛃  𝛣  𝛽  𝜝  𝜷  

Unicode name  MATHEMATICAL BOLD CAPITAL BETA  MATHEMATICAL BOLD SMALL BETA  MATHEMATICAL ITALIC CAPITAL BETA  MATHEMATICAL ITALIC SMALL BETA  MATHEMATICAL BOLD ITALIC CAPITAL BETA  MATHEMATICAL BOLD ITALIC SMALL BETA  
Encodings  decimal  hex  decimal  hex  decimal  hex  decimal  hex  decimal  hex  decimal  hex 
Unicode  120489  U+1D6A9  120515  U+1D6C3  120547  U+1D6E3  120573  U+1D6FD  120605  U+1D71D  120631  U+1D737 
UTF8  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 
UTF16  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 
Character  𝝗  𝝱  𝞑  𝞫  

Unicode name  MATHEMATICAL SANSSERIF BOLD CAPITAL BETA  MATHEMATICAL SANSSERIF BOLD SMALL BETA  MATHEMATICAL SANSSERIF BOLD ITALIC CAPITAL BETA  MATHEMATICAL SANSSERIF BOLD ITALIC SMALL BETA  
Encodings  decimal  hex  decimal  hex  decimal  hex  decimal  hex 
Unicode  120663  U+1D757  120689  U+1D771  120721  U+1D791  120747  U+1D7AB 
UTF8  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 
UTF16  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.
References
 ↑ Jeffery 1961, p. 23.
 ↑ Haralambous, Yannis (1999). "From Unicode to typography, a case study: the Greek script" (PDF). p. 7.