Physical Review Letters, 124, 020401 (2020)
The theory of angular momentum connects physical rotations and quantum spins together at a fundamental level. Physical rotation of a quantum system will therefore affect fundamental quantum operations, such as spin rotations in projective Hilbert space, but these effects are subtle and experimentally challenging to observe due to the fragility of quantum coherence. We report on a measurement of a single-electron-spin phase shift arising directly from physical rotation, without transduction through magnetic fields or ancillary spins. This phase shift is observed by measuring the phase difference between a microwave driving field and a rotating two-level electron spin system, and it can accumulate nonlinearly in time. We detect the nonlinear phase using spin-echo interferometry of a single nitrogen-vacancy qubit in a diamond rotating at 200 000 rpm. Our measurements demonstrate the fundamental connections between spin, physical rotation, and quantum phase, and they will be applicable in schemes where the rotational degree of freedom of a quantum system is not fixed, such as spin-based rotation sensors and trapped nanoparticles containing spins.