## Abstract

Context. Computing the matter power spectrum, P(k), as a function of cosmological parameters can be prohibitively slow in cosmological analyses, hence emulating this calculation is desirable. Previous analytic approximations are insufficiently accurate for modern applications, so black-box, uninterpretable emulators are often used. Aims. We aim to construct an efficient, differentiable, interpretable, symbolic emulator for the redshift zero linear matter power spectrum which achieves sub-percent level accuracy. We also wish to obtain a simple analytic expression to convert A_{s} to σ_{8} given the other cosmological parameters. Methods. We utilise an efficient genetic programming based symbolic regression framework to explore the space of potential mathematical expressions which can approximate the power spectrum and σ_{8}. We learn the ratio between an existing low-accuracy fitting function for P(k) and that obtained by solving the Boltzmann equations and thus still incorporate the physics which motivated this earlier approximation. Results. We obtain an analytic approximation to the linear power spectrum with a root mean squared fractional error of 0.2% between k = 9 × 10^{−3}−9 hMpc^{−1} and across a wide range of cosmological parameters, and we provide physical interpretations for various terms in the expression. Our analytic approximation is 950 times faster to evaluate than camb and 36 times faster than the neural network based matter power spectrum emulator bacco. We also provide a simple analytic approximation for σ_{8} with a similar accuracy, with a root mean squared fractional error of just 0.1% when evaluated across the same range of cosmologies. This function is easily invertible to obtain A_{s} as a function of σ_{8} and the other cosmological parameters, if preferred. Conclusions. It is possible to obtain symbolic approximations to a seemingly complex function at a precision required for current and future cosmological analyses without resorting to deep-learning techniques, thus avoiding their black-box nature and large number of parameters. Our emulator will be usable long after the codes on which numerical approximations are built become outdated.

Original language | English |
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Article number | A209 |

Number of pages | 9 |

Journal | Astronomy and Astrophysics |

Volume | 686 |

DOIs | |

Publication status | Published - 1 Jun 2024 |

## Keywords

- cosmological parameters
- cosmology: theory
- large-scale structure of Universe
- methods: numerical
- UKRI
- STFC
- ST/P004474/1