# Why are elimination reactions in organic chemistry known as beta eliminations?

Why are organic elimination reactions known as beta eliminations? Why don't we call them alpha eliminations?

• Take 2-bromobutane as an example. The C2 hydrogen is an alpha carbon while the hydrogens are referred to as beta. C4-H's are gamma. It is a generic terminology that fits all cases regardless of the numbering in the compound. There are alpha and beta eliminations. – user55119 Nov 26 '17 at 18:25
• Addition: ...while the C1 and C3 hydrogens are referred to as beta. – user55119 Nov 26 '17 at 18:36