(CBS) — A joint noise study project by G.E. and the Argonne National Lab has already turned up some ideas for turning down the noise of jet engines on the O’Hare flight path, reports WBBM’s John Cody.

Computing science director Dr. Paul Messina says the IBM Blue Gene computer models storms and diseases and in this case flow through jet engines, whose circular exhausts have been redesigned to include scallops around the inner edge.

“By having those, it channels the flow of air and gasses that are going really fast of course so that they start to cancel each other out to some extent, a little bit like noise-cancelling headphones,” said Dr. Messina.

Dr. Messina says the collaboration between Argonne and G.E. also showed that making the engines fat instead of skinny helps reduce the noise, as does raising the pitch of the exhaust out of the 2000 to 4000 hertz range which humans find particularly annoying.

They’re working on Argonne’s $100 million IBM Mira supercomputer which has 786,000 processor cores.

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