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Parton distributions and lattice QCD calculations: A community white paper

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

  • Huey Wen Lin
  • Emanuele R. Nocera
  • Fred Olness
  • Kostas Orginos
  • Juan Rojo
  • Alberto Accardi
  • Constantia Alexandrou
  • Alessandro Bacchetta
  • Giuseppe Bozzi
  • Jiunn Wei Chen
  • Sara Collins
  • Amanda Cooper-Sarkar
  • Martha Constantinou
  • Michael Engelhardt
  • Jeremy Green
  • Rajan Gupta
  • Lucian A. Harland-Lang
  • Tomomi Ishikawa
  • Aleksander Kusina
  • Keh Fei Liu
  • Simonetta Liuti
  • Christopher Monahan
  • Pavel Nadolsky
  • Jian Wei Qiu
  • Ingo Schienbein
  • Gerrit Schierholz
  • Robert S. Thorne
  • Werner Vogelsang
  • Hartmut Wittig
  • C. P. Yuan

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-160
Number of pages54
JournalProgress in Particle and Nuclear Physics
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018


In the framework of quantum chromodynamics (QCD), parton distribution functions (PDFs) quantify how the momentum and spin of a hadron are divided among its quark and gluon constituents. Two main approaches exist to determine PDFs. The first approach, based on QCD factorization theorems, realizes a QCD analysis of a suitable set of hard-scattering measurements, often using a variety of hadronic observables. The second approach, based on first-principle operator definitions of PDFs, uses lattice QCD to compute directly some PDF-related quantities, such as their moments. Motivated by recent progress in both approaches, in this document we present an overview of lattice-QCD and global-analysis techniques used to determine unpolarized and polarized proton PDFs and their moments. We provide benchmark numbers to validate present and future lattice-QCD calculations and we illustrate how they could be used to reduce the PDF uncertainties in current unpolarized and polarized global analyses. This document represents a first step towards establishing a common language between the two communities, to foster dialogue and to further improve our knowledge of PDFs.

    Research areas

  • Global QCD fits, Lattice QCD, Unpolarized/polarized parton distribution functions (PDFs)

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