Recent experimental work on the development of extreme ultraviolet lasers undertaken using as the pumping source the VULCAN laser at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory is compared to detailed simulations. It is shown that short duration (similar topicosecond) pumping can produce X-ray laser pulses of a few picosecond duration and that measurement of the emission from the plasma can give an estimate of the duration of the gain coefficient. The Ehybrid fluid and atomic physics code developed at the University of York is used to simulate X-ray laser gain and plasma emission. Two postprocessors to the Ehybrid code are utilized: 1) to raytrace the X-ray laser beam amplification and refraction and 2) to calculate the radiation emission in the kiloelectronvolt photon energy range. The raytracing and spectral simulations are compared, respectively, to measured X-ray laser output and the output of two diagnostics recording transverse X-ray emission. The pumping laser energy absorbed in the plasma is examined by comparing the simulations to experimental results. It is shown that at high pumping irradiance (>10(15) Wcm(-2)), fast electrons are produced by parametric processes in the preformed long scale-length plasmas. These fast electrons do not pump the population inversion and so pumping efficiency is reduced at high irradiance
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