Parton distributions in the LHC era
Analyses of LHC (and other!) experiments require robust and statistically accurate determinations of the structure of the proton, encoded in the parton distribution functions (PDFs). The standard description of hadronic processes relies on factorization theorems, which allow a separation of process-dependent short-distance physics from the universal long-distance structure of the proton. Traditionally the PDFs are obtained from fits to experimental data. However, understanding the long-distance properties of hadrons is a nonperturbative problem, and lattice QCD can play a role in providing useful results from first principles. In this talk we compare the different approaches used to determine PDFs, and try to assess the impact of existing, and future, lattice calculations.