Abstract: We perform the step-scaling investigation of the running coupling constant, using the gradient-flow scheme, in SU(3) gauge theory with twelve massless fermions in the fundamental representation. The Wilson plaquette gauge action and massless unimproved staggered fermions are used in the simulations. Our lattice data are prepared at high accuracy, such that the statistical error for the renormalised coupling, g GF , is at the subpercentage level. To investigate the reliability of the continuum extrapolation, we employ two different lattice discretisations to obtain g GF . For our simulation setting, the corresponding gauge-field averaging radius in the gradient flow has to be almost half of the lattice size, in order to have this extrapolation under control. We can determine the renormalisation group evolution of the coupling up to g GF 2 ∼ 6, before the onset of the bulk phase structure. In this infrared regime, the running of the coupling is significantly slower than the two-loop perturbative prediction, although we cannot draw definite conclusion regarding possible infrared conformality of this theory. Furthermore, we comment on the issue regarding the continuum extrapolation near an infrared fixed point. In addition to adopting the fit ansätz a’la Symanzik for performing this task, we discuss a possible alternative procedure inspired by properties derived from low-energy scale invariance at strong coupling. Based on this procedure, we propose a finite-size scaling method for the renormalised coupling as a means to search for infrared fixed point. Using this method, it can be shown that the behaviour of the theory around g GF 2 ∼ 6 is still not governed by possible infrared conformality.
- Lattice Gauge Field Theories
- Renormalization Group
- Technicolor and Composite Models