Twelve massless flavors and three colors below the conformal window

Zoltán Fodor, Kieran Holland, Julius Kuti, Dániel Nógrádi, Chris Schroeder

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106 Scopus citations


We report new results for a frequently discussed gauge theory with twelve fermion flavors in the fundamental representation of the SU(3) color gauge group. The model, controversial with respect to its conformality, is important in non-perturbative studies searching for a viable composite Higgs mechanism beyond the Standard Model (BSM). In comparison with earlier work, our new simulations apply larger volumes and probe deeper in fermion and pion masses toward the chiral limit. Investigating the controversy, we subject the model to opposite hypotheses with respect to the conformal window. In the first hypothesis, below the conformal window, we test chiral symmetry breaking (χSB) with its Goldstone spectrum, Fπ, the χSB condensate, and several composite hadron states as analytic functions of the fermion mass when varied in a limited range with our best effort to control finite volume effects. In the second test, for the alternate hypothesis inside the conformal window, we probe conformal behavior driven by a single anomalous mass dimension under the assumption of unbroken chiral symmetry at vanishing fermion mass. Our results at fixed gauge coupling, based on the assumptions of the two hypotheses we define, show low level of confidence in the conformal scenario with leading order scaling analysis. Relaxing the important assumption of leading mass-deformed conformality with its conformal finite size scaling would require added theoretical understanding of the scaling violation terms in the conformal analysis and a comprehensive test of its effects on the confidence level of the fits. Results for the running coupling, based on the force between static sources, and preliminary indications for the finite temperature transition are also presented. Staggered lattice fermions with stout-suppressed taste breaking are used throughout the simulations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)348-358
Number of pages11
JournalPhysics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 14 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


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