Calculus-based physics is easier to understand

Mathematics required for the study of statistical mechanics / thermal physics

Depending on what your elementary school class is focused on, you will need a math background below:

  1. Basic probability theory : An idea of ​​permutations, probability distributions, mean and variance, etc. Depending on how statistical the class becomes, you may need more.

  2. Partial differentiation : For the thermophysical side, a solid understanding of partial derivatives is of crucial importance. While this is usually taught in a multivariable calculus class, it can be easily learned if you understand basic derivatives but don't underestimate their usefulness.

  3. Fundamental series extensions : Approaches are everything. If you can't find the exact answer, a good approximation is the next best thing. You can extend simple polynomials and trigonometric functions. Stirling's approximation is also used quite often.

For the physical side of things:

  1. Basic kinematics : Understanding introductory physical ideas about force, momentum and energy. Basic systems such as harmonic oscillators.

  2. Quantization : Again, this depends on how deep the class is, but it can be good to have an idea of ​​quantization in physics. eg: de Broglie relationships

This is not meant to be exhaustive, but rather a list of things that I remember remembering being useful. Some basic chemistry can also be useful, but probably not necessary. I would highly recommend speaking to the professor teaching it to get a good idea of ​​what to expect.