Laser‐induced stress waves in iron samples were analyzed by measuring the pressure environment at the back surface of various sample thicknesses. These results were compared with numerical calculations obtained from a one‐dimensional radiation hydrodynamicscomputer code. The experiments were conducted in an air environment under ambient conditions and the metal surfaces were confined by transparent overlays. Peak pressures exceeding 50 kbar were measured with quartz pressure transducers at a laser power density of about 109 W/cm2. Computer predictions agreed favorably with the experimental results and indicated that peak pressures exceeding 100 kbar could be generated by appropriate modifications in the laser environment and target overlay configuration.
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