Recent high-temporal-resolution nickellike x-ray laser experiments have yielded important insights into the output characteristics of picosecond-pumped x-ray lasers. However, current experimental observations do not fully explain the plasma dynamics, which is critical to gain generation within the x-ray laser medium. A numerical study of the nickellike silver x-ray laser has therefore been undertaken to complement our experimental results in an attempt to further our understanding of the processes at work in yielding the observed x-ray laser output. High gain coefficients existing with picosecond lifetimes are predicted, which is consistent with the short x-ray laser durations experimentally observed. The late onset of the continuum emission relative to the temporal peak of the x-ray laser output is explained as a sign of high electron density evolution near the target surface.
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