We consider quantum metrology with arbitrary prior knowledge of the parameter. We demonstrate that a single sensing two-level system can act as a virtual multilevel system that offers increased sensitivity in a Bayesian single-shot metrology scenario, and that allows one to estimate (arbitrary) large parameter values by avoiding phase wraps. This is achieved by making use of additional degrees of freedom or auxiliary systems not participating in the sensing process. The joint system is manipulated by intermediate control operations in such a way that an effective Hamiltonian, with an arbitrary spectrum, is generated that mimics the spectrum of a multisystem interacting with the field. We show how to use additional internal degrees of freedom of a single trapped ion to achieve a high-sensitivity magnetic field sensor for fields with arbitrary prior knowledge.

%B PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS %V 118 %R 10.1103/PhysRevLett.118.170801