We use a calculation of periodic homogeneous isotropic turbulence to simulate the experimental decay of grid turbulence. The calculation is found to match the experiment in a number of important aspects and the computed flow field is then treated as a realization of a physical turbulent flow. From this flow, we compute the large eddy field and the various averages of the subgrid-scale turbulence that occur in the large eddy simulation equations. These quantities are compared with the predictions of the models that are usually applied in large eddy simulation. The results show that the terms which involve the large-scale field are accurately modelled but the subgridscale Reynolds stresses are only moderately well modelled. It is also possible to use the method to predict the constants of the models without reference to experiment. Attempts to find improved models have not met with success.
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