This paper describes studies of laser action on metals and glasses under conditions of the large-scale organization of experiments, carried out by the staff of A. M. Bonch-Bruevich's laboratories. A definition of "large-scale" is given, and the necessity of such experiments is substantiated. A brief description is given of the experimental facilities. It is shown that, when the diameter of a laser spot is significant, 5-8 mm or more, the threshold values of the laser fluxes (the damage thresholds for glasses, the evaporation thresholds and the onset of screening for metals, the ignition thresholds for metals in an oxidizing atmosphere) are shown to be substantially less, sometimes by 2-3 orders of magnitude, than the same thresholds when they are measured on laser spots with a diameter of a fraction of a millimeter. A description is given of certain new effects ("a laser match" when a pulsed 1.06-µm laser and a continuous 10.6-µm laser act in combination on metals in an oxidizing atmosphere, the effect of selective oxidation accompanying laser action).

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