(This question was posed to me by a colleague; I was unable to answer it, so am posing it here instead.)

Let $f: {\bf R}^n \to {\bf R}^n$ be an everywhere differentiable map, and suppose that at each point $x_0 \in {\bf R}^n$, the derivative $Df(x_0)$ is nonsingular (i.e. has non-zero determinant). Does it follow that $f$ is locally injective, i.e. for every $x_0 \in {\bf R}^n$ is there a neighbourhood $U$ of $x_0$ on which $f$ is injective?

If $f$ is *continuously* differentiable, then the claim is immediate from the inverse function theorem. But if one relaxes continuous differentiability to everywhere differentiability, the situation seems to be much more subtle:

- In one dimension, the answer is "Yes"; this is the contrapositive of Rolle's theorem, which works in the everywhere differentiable category. (The claim is of course false in weaker categories such as the Lipschitz (and hence almost everywhere differentiable) category, as one can see from a sawtooth function.)
- The Brouwer fixed point theorem gives local surjectivity, and degree theory gives local injectivity if $\det Df(x_0)$ never changes sign. (This gives another proof in the case when $f$ is continuously differentiable, since $\det Df$ is then continuous.)
- On the other hand, if one could find an everywhere differentiable map $f: B \to B$ on a ball $B$ that was equal to the identity near the boundary of $B$, whose derivative was always non-singular, but for which $f$ was not injective, then one could paste infinitely many rescaled copies of this function $f$ together to produce a counterexample. The degree theory argument shows that such a map does not exist in the orientation-preserving case, but maybe there is some exotic way to avoid the degree obstruction in the everywhere differentiable category?

It seems to me that a counterexample, if one exists, should look something like a Weierstrass function (i.e. a lacunary trigonometric series), as one needs rather dramatic failure of continuity of the derivative to eliminate the degree obstruction. To try to prove the answer is yes, one thought I had was to try to use Henstock-Kurzweil integration (which is well suited to the everywhere differentiable category) and combine it somehow with degree theory, but this integral seems rather unpleasant to use in higher dimensions.