This paper discusses the contribution of the scientific school of A. M. Bonch-Bruevich in high-power optics to the establishment and development of this specialization of optical science. We present the main results obtained by this school in various years involving experimental and theoretical research on the physics of the action of intense laser radiation on metals and semiconductors, optical breakdown of transparent media, laser-induced thermochemical processes, and the role of surface electromagnetic waves in the action of laser radiation on the surface.

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