We study the constraints on thermal phase transitions of SU(Nc) gauge theories by using the 't Hooft anomaly involving the center symmetry and chiral symmetry. We consider two cases of massless fermions: (i) adjoint fermions and (ii) Nf flavors of fundamental fermions with a nontrivial greatest common divisor, gcd(Nc,Nf)≠1. For the first case (i), we show that the chiral symmetry restoration in terms of the standard Landau-Ginzburg effective action is impossible at a temperature lower than that of deconfinement. For the second case (ii), we introduce a modified version of the center symmetry, which we call center-flavor symmetry, and draw similar conclusions under a certain definition of confinement. Moreover, at zero temperature, our results give a partial explanation of the appearance of dual magnetic gauge groups in (supersymmetric) QCD when gcd(Nc,Nf)≠1.
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