Thermodynamically it is not possible. Internal energy of a system can not change until and unless an external work is done on the system or by the system.

But I came across a very strange process of Barrier Penetration observed in situations involving nuclear fusion. It seems to violate a very important law of thermodynamics - the law of conservation of energy. If proven true, the internal energy of the system can change by itself.

Here's a link to how : http://psi.phys.wits.ac.za/teaching/Connell/phys284/2005/lecture-02/lecture_02/node12.html

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    $\begingroup$ What led you think that tunneling is violating law Conservation of energy?? It's not any classical effect; it's rather quantum mechanical effect. $\endgroup$ – user36790 Sep 19 '15 at 5:59
  • $\begingroup$ So where does this system perform work against an external system, again? $\endgroup$ – CuriousOne Sep 19 '15 at 6:02
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    $\begingroup$ In the quantum description the classical conservation laws apply to expectations/mean values. Which means energy is not really conserved, but its expectation value is, which in turn translates into that fluctuations in the "classical conservation" is allowed. This is to say that energy is on average conserved, but there may be fluctuations. The larger away from the mean you get, the more unlikely is such a fluctuation to be observed. $\endgroup$ – user36790 Sep 19 '15 at 6:05
  • $\begingroup$ Related: physics.stackexchange.com/questions/111697/… & links therein. $\endgroup$ – user36790 Sep 19 '15 at 6:12

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