Preprint number: CP3-Origins-2010-45
We compute the nonzero temperature free energy up to the order g6 ln(1/g) in the coupling constant for vector like SU(N) gauge theories featuring matter transforming according to different representations of the underlying gauge group. The number of matter fields, i.e. flavors, is arranged in such a way that the theory develops a perturbative stable infrared fixed point at zero temperature. Due to large distance conformality we trade the coupling constant with its fixed point value and define a reduced free energy which depends only on the number of flavors, colors and matter representation.
We show that the reduced free energy changes sign, at the second, fifth and sixth order in the coupling, when decreasing the number of flavors from the upper end of the conformal window. If the change in sign is interpreted as signal of an instability of the system then we infer a critical number of flavors. Surprisingly this number, if computed to the order g2, agrees with previous predictions for the lower boundary of the conformal window for nonsupersymmetric gauge theories. The higher order results tend to predict a higher number of critical flavors. These are universal properties, i.e. they are independent on the specific matter representation.