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A set of uncoupled pendula may be used to exhibit "pendulum waves," patterns that alternately look like traveling waves, standing waves, and chaos. The pendulum patterns cycle spectacularly in a time that is large compared to the oscillation period of the individual pendula. In this article we derive a continuous function to explain the pendulum patterns using a simple extension to the equation for traveling waves in one dimension. We show that the cycling of the pendulum patterns arises fromdoi:10.1119/1.1349543 fatcat:wbpvy4zvnfgpjbvth3adzmwply