Chiral phase boundary of QCD at finite temperature
Journal of High Energy Physics
We analyze the approach to chiral symmetry breaking in QCD at finite temperature, using the functional renormalization group. We compute the running gauge coupling in QCD for all temperatures and scales within a simple truncated renormalization flow. At finite temperature, the coupling is governed by a fixed point of the 3-dimensional theory for scales smaller than the corresponding temperature. Chiral symmetry breaking is approached if the running coupling drives the quark sector to
... . We quantitatively determine the phase boundary in the plane of temperature and number of flavors and find good agreement with lattice results. As a generic and testable prediction, we observe that our underlying IR fixed-point scenario leaves its imprint in the shape of the phase boundary near the critical flavor number: here, the scaling of the critical temperature is determined by the zero-temperature IR critical exponent of the running coupling.