I've always wondered whether torpedoes come "pre-loaded" with matter and anti-matter or whether they are fuelled from a starships' own supply.
I think general consensus is that they are "pre-loaded" since warheads are mentioned, but wouldn't that mean that the torpedo itself would need a constant power supply to maintain anti-matter containment?
would that mean the torpedoes have a "shelf life"? meaning that if you stuck a bunch of photon torpedoes in reserve on some sort of depot planet, would they eventually just detonate on their own once their "batteries" died?
That's something I've never actually considered before!
Certainly, anti-matter containment is a major issue on starships (anti-matter containment fails=ship goes kablooey!).
The answer I suppose is that they do indeed possess their own internal power for magnetic bottles containing the anti-matter, or maybe a stasis field, which is either periodically recharged by the armourer, or hooked up to internal power while in storage. This could be a considerable power drain, especially if carrying 200+ torps.
This would also reinforce Scotty's reluctance to accept the new torpedoes without knowing more about them in STID.