Alpha carbon

The carbon atom directly adjacent to a carbonyl carbon is referred to as the “alpha-carbon” (“α-carbon”). C–H bonds on alpha-carbons are considerably more acidic than ordinary C-H bonds since deprotonation can result in resonance-stabilized enolates.

The carbon atoms further down the chain from the carbonyl are named, beta (β), gamma (γ), delta (δ) and so on.

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