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A laser-microprobe attached to a mass spectrometer for **4**0Ar/**3**9Ar age determination of single mineral grains in geological materials has been made operational at the US Geological Survey, Reston, VA. This microanalytical technique involves focusing a pulsed laser beam onto a sample contained in an ultra-high vacuum chamber attached to a rare-gas mass spectrometer. Argon in the neutron-irradiated sample is released by heating with the laser pulse and its isotopic composition is measured to yield an **4**0Ar/**3**9Ar age. Laser probe **4**0Ar/**3**9Ar ages of single mineral grains measured in situ can aid greatly in understanding the chronology of many geological situations where datable minerals are present but are not physically separable in quantities needed for conventional age dating.
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LASER MICROPROBE **4**0Ar/**3**9Ar DATING OF MINERAL GRAINS IN SITU.