It is shown that when a metal surface is exposed to laser radiation, a wavy-like
relief is formed on it. According to the data obtained, three stages of spatial growth of
the waves can be noted: area of surface stabilization, area of exponential and nonlinear wave
growth. Formation of the wavy-like relief of a crater is connected with the appearance of
thermocapillary instability. Wave breaking in the stage of nonlinear growth could be related
to the difference of phase velocities.
Keywords: laser radiation; the spatial growth rate; the instability; the crater
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