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Nonadiabatic unitary evolution with tailored time-dependent Hamiltonians can prepare systems of cold atomic gases with various desired properties. For a system of two one-dimensional quasicondensates coupled with a time-varying tunneling amplitude, we show that the optimal protocol, for maximizing any figure of merit in a given time, is bang-bang, i.e., the coupling alternates between only two values through a sequence of sudden quenches. Minimizing the energy of one of the quasicondensatesdoi:10.1103/physreva.87.043607 fatcat:t5d32jbvg5hsbgbjgdgrjy5mbm