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The interaction potential V(Q^2) between static test charges can be used to define an effective charge α_V(Q^2) and a physically-based renormalization scheme for quantum chromodynamics and other gauge theories. In this paper we use recent results for the finite-mass fermionic corrections to the heavy-quark potential at two-loops to derive the next-to-leading order term for the Gell Mann-Low function of the V-scheme. The resulting effective number of flavors N_F(Q^2/m^2) in the α_V scheme isdoi:10.1103/physrevd.60.096006 fatcat:msd2vhvg35hzth5iqmxdh3a4wa