The elements, theoretical basis, and experimental status of perturbative quantum chromodynamics are presented. Relevant field-theoretic methods are introduced at a nonspecialist level, along with a review of the basic ideas and methods of the parton model. This is followed by an account of the fundamental theorems of quantum chromodynamics, which generalize the parton model. Summaries of the theoretical and experimental status of the most important hard-scattering processes are then given, including electron-positron annihilation, deeply inelastic scattering, and hard hadron-hadron scattering, as induced both by electoweak interactions and by quantum chromodynamics directly. In addition, a discussion is presented of the global fitting approach to the determination of parton distributions in nucleons.
© 1995 The American Physical Society