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I'd like to write this sentence:

In both excitation and emission beam path a Mach-Zehnder interferometer is introduced, both of which exhibiting equal delays.

I don't like the style of the sentence, because I use two times 'both'. I am not even sure it is grammatically correct, as the subordinate clause refers to two interferometers, although I put the 'interferometer' in singular. I was playing around with some other structures, but I wasn't satisfied. Does anybody have any suggestions how to transform the sentence to proper English?

Thanks a lot!

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  • 2
    The sentence says the same if both of which is deleted.
    – mama
    Feb 17, 2019 at 12:49
  • Do you mean that there are two interferometers, one in the exitation beam path and one in the emission beam path? If so part of your problem is that you have not made that indisputably clear at the outset.
    – BoldBen
    Feb 17, 2019 at 13:05
  • The sentence seems like it needs a article or two.
    – JDF
    Feb 17, 2019 at 13:28
  • It’s okay as is. In technical writing, using the same construction helps the reader stay on track.
    – user205876
    Feb 17, 2019 at 18:35
  • 1
    Equal delays were observed when a Mach-Zehnder interferometer was introduced in both excitation and emission beam paths.
    – Jim
    Apr 13, 2020 at 6:53

2 Answers 2

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There are many grammatically correct ways you can convey what you are trying to convey with this sentence. I don't understand what most of the stuff in the sentence is so if my suggestion needs some tweaking please do so. It is more about changing the structure.

Original

"In both excitation and emission beam path a Mach-Zehnder interferometer is introduced, both of which exhibiting equal delays."

Suggestions

What is tripping me up here is the tense. Everything is happening in the present tense which is valid but it causes the sentence to sound clunky and it makes the structure difficult to massage.

Here is one possibility: "A Mach-Zehnder interferometer is introduced in the excitation and emission beam path resulting in equal delays."

or (In case the words 'resulting in' and 'exhibited' aren't synonymous enough in this context)

"A Mach-Zehnder interferometer is introduced in the excitation and emission beam path where each exhibits equal delays." -- This is not perfect but it simplifies the structure of the sentence.

Hopefully something here puts you on the road to a final answer.

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Given that I'm not familiar with the subject matter, I'll play it safe. How about:

In both excitation and emission beam path, a Mach-Zehnder interferometer is introduced –each exhibiting equal delays.

However, if your sentence means what I think it means, I would prefer:

With the introduction of a Mach-Zehnder interferometer, equal delays are exhibited in both excitation and emission beam paths.

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