I identify the class of even-dimensional conformal field theories that is most similar to two-dimensional conformal field theory. In this class the formula, elaborated recently, for the irreversibility of the renormalization-group flow applies also to massive flows. This implies a prediction for the ratio between the coefficient of the Euler density in the trace anomaly (charge $a$) and the stress-tensor two-point function (charge $c$). More precisely, the trace anomaly in external gravity is quadratic in the Ricci tensor and the Ricci scalar and contains a unique central charge. I check the prediction in detail in four, six and eight dimensions, and then in arbitrary even dimension.

Phys.Lett. B476 (2000) 182-187 | DOI: 10.1016/S0370-2693(00)00135-0