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The optical constants of Ga0.51In0.49P have been determined from 0.8 to 5.0 eV using variable-angle spectroscopic ellipsometry measurements at room temperature. The metal-organic vapor-phase-epitaxy-grown samples were x-ray analyzed to confirm lattice matching to the GaAs substrate. The effects of the native oxide were numerically removed from the data to determine the intrinsic optical constants. This is important because the optical constants reported become generally useful for modeling multiple-layer structures. A Kramers-Kronig analysis was used to reduce interference-related fluctuations in the below-gap refractive index. Near the band edge a mathematical form for excitonic absorption was included. Critical point energies were extracted using a numerical second-derivative fitting algorithm.