We present two laser driven shock wave loading techniques utilizing long pulse lasers, laser-launched flyer plate
and confined laser ablation, and their applications to shock physics. The full width at half maximum of the drive
laser pulse ranges from 100 ns to 10 μs, and its energy, from 10 J to 1000 J. The drive pulse is smoothed with
a holographic optical element to achieve spatial homogeneity in loading. We characterize the flyer plate during
flight and dynamically loaded target with temporally and spatially resolved diagnostics. The long duration
and high energy of the drive pulse allow for shockless acceleration of thick flyer plates with 8 mm diameter
and 0.1-2 mm thickness. With transient imaging displacement interferometry and line-imaging velocimetry, we
demonstrate that the planarity (bow and tilt) of the loading is within 2-7 mrad (with an average of 4±1 mrad),
similar to that in conventional techniques including gas gun loading. Plasma heating of target is negligible in
particular when a plasma shield is adopted. For flyer plate loading, supported shock waves can be achieved.
Temporal shaping of the drive pulse in confined laser ablation enables flexible loading, e.g., quasi-isentropic,
Taylor-wave, and off-Hugoniot loading. These dynamic loading techniques using long pulse lasers (0.1-10 μs)
along with short pulse lasers (1-10 ns) can be an accurate, versatile and efficient complement to conventional
shock wave loading for investigating such dynamic responses of materials as Hugoniot elastic limit, plasticity,
spall, shock roughness, equation of state, phase transition, and metallurgical characteristics of shock-recovered
samples, in a wide range of strain rates and pressures at meso- and macroscopic scales.