We show that Ramsey spectroscopy of fermionic alkaline-earth atoms in a square-well trap provides an efficient and accurate estimate for the eigenspectrum of a density matrix whose *n *copies are stored in the nuclear spins of *n *such atoms. This spectrum estimation is enabled by the high symmetry of the interaction Hamiltonian, dictated, in turn, by the decoupling of the nuclear spin from the electrons and by the shape of the square-well trap. Practical performance of this procedure and its potential applications to quantum computing, quantum simulation, and time-keeping with alkalineearth atoms are discussed.

We show that n thermal fermionic alkaline-earth-metal atoms in a flat-bottom trap allow one to robustly implement a spin model displaying two symmetries: the Sn symmetry that permutes atoms occupying different vibrational levels of the trap and the SU(N) symmetry associated with N nuclear spin states. The symmetries make the model exactly solvable, which, in turn, enables the analytic study of dynamical processes such as spin diffusion in this SU(N) system. We also show how to use this system to generate entangled states that allow for Heisenberg-limited metrology. This highly symmetric spin model should be experimentally realizable even when the vibrational levels are occupied according to a high-temperature thermal or an arbitrary nonthermal distribution.

%B Physical Review A %V 93 %8 2016/05/06 %G eng %U http://journals.aps.org/pra/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevA.93.051601 %N 5 %R 10.1103/PhysRevA.93.051601